An America Unraveling

 

11/29/2020  Troll: Why are Neo-Nazis called right-extremists when the actual Nazis were socialists/leftists?  by Shayn McCallum, PhD, Quora

Because, for possibly the millionth time I have had to say this, the Nazis were not leftists.

 

Other than the deliberate propaganda of writers like Jonah Goldberg, I believe the confusion about where the Nazis fell on the political spectrum comes from a specifically American misunderstanding of what “right” and “left” mean.

 

Because the USA was founded as a kind of “anti-Europe”, its politics developed in a very different way from European politics. I have often heard Americans here repeating the fallacy that “left means big government, right means small government”. This actually has nothing to do with what “left” and “right” mean and this feeds the general confusion concerning inter-war politics in Europe.

 

See, European conservatism, especially in Central Europe, was not based on “small government” at all (and still isn’t) but rather on the idea of law and order, the naturalness of hierarchy, and maintenance of traditional authority. For much of the early history of European conservatism, it was feudal-nostalgic, monarchist and highly militaristic. It was not necessarily in favour of liberal capitalism, although it was not opposed to it as long as the “right people” were making money and nouveau riche riffraff weren’t getting ideas above their station.

 

Now, maybe you can begin to see why the Nazis and fascists belonged to the Right. The USA is dominated by a history of economic liberalism, whereas Europe took its time warming up to liberalism and tended to prefer managed capitalism. This is why European conservatives seem so confusing to Americans because America has no history with this kind of conservatism (or not much-- the Southern Confederacy nostalgics have some points in common with them).

 

When you look at the European Right, by US standards they all appear “left wing” because the European right tends to be instinctively statist.

 

So, what of the Left? Well, historically, the Left is characterised by an emphasis on popular sovereignty-- bottom-up democracy and a rejection of hierarchy, traditional privileges and top-down authority. Anarchism was, for many years, the iconic form of leftism and, as is well known, anarchism is fundamentally opposed to the state. The values of all leftist movements, regardless of what they end up doing in practice (and the Left in power is famous for betraying its own values) have always been centred on freedom, equality, and solidarity.

 

Now, back to the Nazis. Nothing about the Nazis, or the fascists was in any way “left wing”. On the contrary, their ideology aligned closely with the traditional values of the German Right. As for “socialism”, until Hitler took over the NSDAP, the party did advocate a kind of authoritarian socialist economy but Hitler tossed all that out, keeping only the name for two reasons: for “brand continuity” and to better compete with the Left (which, divided into mutually-hostile socialists and Communists, was the most powerful and popular movement in Weimar Germany).

 

In any case, for over 70 years, it has been taken for granted that Nazism is “extreme right” and this is because people have known clearly what those terms mean. The confusion today comes from a general lack of knowledge concerning political theories and ideas resulting in a lot of misconception and fallacies.

11/24/2020   Creepy Bespoke Chat-n-Hate Board, Parler, hacked.  Thousands of Haters had their SSNs and DMs leaked., Twitter

11/23/2020   Right-Wing Social Media Finalizes Its Divorce From Reality, by Renée DiResta, The Atlantic

Fox News acknowledged Trump’s loss. Facebook and Twitter cracked down on election lies. But true believers can get their misinformation elsewhere.

11/14/2020   Conservatives Flock To Mercer-Funded Parler, Claim Censorship On Facebook And Twitter, by Shannon Bond, Weekend Edition Sunday

Parler, founded in 2018, touts itself as "the world's premier free speech platform." On Saturday, CEO and co-founder John Matze said one of the privately owned company's early investors is Rebekah Mercer, who along with her father, hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, has been a backer of President Trump and is also a major donor to conservative causes, including Breitbart News and former White House strategist Steve Bannon.

 

"What we've seen in the past with some of these other fringe or alternative social media sites is, if there's no rules and if it's really siloed, then what happens is it gets more and more extreme," she said.

 

That includes Gab, an alternative social network that has become notorious for hosting anti-Semitic and white nationalist content. It was used by the accused 2018 shooter at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

 

"Once you start fact-checking, you're introducing bias..." Matze replied

11/13/2020   So Let's Talk about Parler, Where did it come from? By Dave Troy, Twitter ThreadReader

Founder John Matze met his now wife, Alina Mukhutdinova, in May 15, 2016 in Las Vegas. Alina is from Kazan, Russia. She was on a two week road trip “vacation” across the USA with a friend.

11/12/2020   Americans Were Primed To Believe The Current Onslaught Of Disinformation, By Kaleigh Rogers, FiveThirtyEight

11/12/2020   Twitter Says Steps To Curb Election Misinformation Worked, by Shannon Bond, NPR

11/12/2020   Twitter Keeps Some Measures It Says Slowed Election Misinformation, by Shannon Bond, NPR

11/11/2020   She fell into QAnon and went viral for destroying a Target mask display. Now she’s rebuilding her life., by Travis M. Andrews, The Washington Post

A later video shows her in the garage of her home, after her husband has summoned the police. She’s telling them that she’s the “QAnon spokesperson” and explains that she has been on the phone with President Trump “all the time.” They detain her to bring her to a nearby psychiatric facility, as she yells, “You’re doing this to me because I’m Jewish.”

11/9/2020   Ex-RNC Chair Michael Steele Says Republican Party Needs A 'Political Enema', by Ed Mazza, HuffPost US

Michael Steele, former chair of the Republican National Committee, said it’s time to clean house within the GOP now that President Donald Trump has lost reelection to President-elect Joe Biden.

 

“It’s particularly disappointing when I see members of my party’s leadership sycophantically kowtow to an egomaniacal henchman who has one view of the world and that’s himself,” Steele told Larry Wilmore.

 

Steele, a senior adviser to the never-Trump conservative group The Lincoln Project which endorsed Biden, said he doesn’t want to fight his own party.

 

“But you gotta deal with stupid,” Steele said. “What the party’s gonna need when this is all said and done is a political enema. And I’m happy to deliver it.”

11/8/2020:   The media never fully learned how to cover Trump. But they still might have saved democracy. by Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post 

Over the past four or five years, I’ve been sharply critical of the media, including that subset I like to call the “reality-based press” — as distinguished from, say, the mendacious bilge spewed by the likes of Sean Hannity and Alex Jones. My continuing complaint has been that mainstream journalism never quite figured out how to cover President Trump, the master of distraction and insult who craved media attention and knew exactly how to get it, regardless of what it meant for the good of the nation.

 

He was a deeply abnormal president, but we constantly sought to normalize him, treating his deranged tweets like legitimate news and piously forecasting, every time he sounded the least bit calm, that he was becoming “presidential.”

 

From the beginning, TV news far too often took his public rallies and speeches as live feeds, letting his misinformation pollute the ecosystem. And we took far too long to call his falsehoods what they often were: lies. And far too long to call his world view what it clearly was: racist.

 

Maybe worst of all, we employed the time-honored method of treating both sides of a controversy as roughly equal. This might have been fine at an earlier moment of history. But it was almost criminally misleading in the Trump era, particularly when it came to the coverage of his Republican enablers in Washington.

 

Few have expressed this problem better than Thomas E. Mann of the (mildly left-leaning) Brookings Institution and Norman J. Ornstein of the (traditionally conservative) American Enterprise Institute in a piece titled “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.”

 

“We understand the values of mainstream journalists, including the effort to report both sides of a story,” they wrote. “But a balanced treatment of an unbalanced phenomenon distorts reality.” Mainstream journalists have been so worried about being called biased by the rabid right that they’ve spent the past four years in a defensive crouch, far too often favoring this false balance over simple truth-telling.

11/7/2020:   Stephen Miller Will Have Some Free Time Soon, by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, The New York Times

James Baldwin once said, “What white people have to do is try to find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a [Negro] in the first place, because I’m not a [Negro], I’m a man, but if you think I’m a [Negro] it means you need it.”

 

I understand the context of this quote in the Black struggle, but it also had meaning for me as an undocumented immigrant. I have noticed that when people try to be nice, they often call immigrants “undocumented laborers.” I think it’s a funny little thing to be hated for your essence and loved for the dialectical small of your back and the apparent jointlessness of your hands.

11/7/2020:    QAnon Lost and Confused After Trump’s Election Showing, by Will Sommer, The Daily Beast

Now, it’s starting to look to even some of the most dedicated followers—some of whom have sacrificed family in their devotion to the conspiracy theory—that QAnon might actually have been nonsense. And they aren’t sure what to do.

 

“It's hard to keep the faith when your wife and daughters have left you and we didn't get the decisive MOAB win we deserved on election night!!” complained one QAnon supporter on a QAnon forum on Friday, as QAnon believers tried to cheer one another up. “No win for me-PERIOD!!”

11/6/2020:   Former Trump Advisor Steve Bannon Loses Lawyer After Suggesting Beheading of Fauci, By Benjamin Weiser, Michael S. Schmidt and William K. Rashbaum

Mr. Bannon, the former adviser to President Trump, said the heads of the F.B.I. director and Dr. Anthony Fauci should be put on pikes, leading Twitter to ban one of his accounts.

 

Mr. Bannon, in his comments, invoked punishment from the medieval era.

“I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England,” Mr. Bannon said. “I’d put the heads on pikes, right? I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats: You either get with the program or you’re gone.”

 

On Friday, a prominent lawyer who was defending Mr. Bannon against fraud charges in federal court in Manhattan abruptly moved to drop him as a client, one person familiar with the matter said.

 

The loss of his white-shoe representation was just the latest setback for Mr. Bannon, 66, who has struggled for political relevance since losing his job at the White House eight months after Mr. Trump’s inauguration.

11/6/2020:   How Claims of Dead Michigan Voters Spread Faster Than the Facts, by Jack Nicas, The New York Times

The tweets began to arrive Wednesday night, carrying explosive claims that people in Michigan were voting under the names of dead people.

 

Austen Fletcher, a former Ivy League football player turned right-wing internet journalist, said in videos posted to Twitter that he had discovered registration documents on a State of Michigan website that showed that four people with reported birth dates from 1900 to 1902 had submitted absentee ballots ahead of Tuesday’s election. “How long has this been going on?” he asked.

 

By Thursday morning, Mr. Fletcher’s videos were the talk of the Republican internet. “Why is it taking regular Americans to expose this level of obvious corruption?” said Candace Owens, a conservative commentator, sharing one of the videos to her 2.7 million Twitter followers.

 

Yet a few phone calls by Mr. Fletcher would have revealed evidence that indicates that what appeared to be fraud were run-of-the-mill clerical errors.

 

Follow this story on Twitter

11/6/2020:   Alleged QAnon Goons With AR-15 Arrested Near Philadelphia Vote Center, by Pilar Melendez, Blake Montgomery and Jamie Ross, The Daily Beast

The Inquirer reported that a Hummer matching the description was seen with stickers linked to the QAnon conspiracy movement, including a large “Q” and “#WWG1WGA,” which the pro-Trump conspiracy theorists use to stand for “Where we go one, we go all”—the group’s motto. Photos of a silver Hummer parked near the Convention Center show a parking violation envelope tucked under the windshield.

11/6/2020    Incendiary texts traced to outfit run by top Trump aide, by FRANK BAJAK and GARANCE BURKE, Associated Press

“This kind of message is playing with fire, and we are very lucky that it does not seem to have driven more conflict,” said John Scott-Railton, senior researcher at the University of Toronto’s online watchdog Citizen Lab. Scott-Railton helped track down the source.

11/1/2020:   How Trump and Barr’s October Surprise Went Bust, By Murray Waas, New York Magazine

Shortly after the resignation of his prized deputy and with the election looming on the horizon, Durham phoned Barr. He forcefully told the attorney general that his office would not be releasing a report or taking any other significant public actions before Election Day, according to a person with knowledge of the phone call. Dannehy’s resignation constituted an implied but unspoken threat to Barr that Durham or others on his team might resign if the attorney general attempted to force the issue, according to a person familiar with Durham’s thinking.

11/1/2020:   My party is destroying itself on the altar of Trump, by Benjamin L. Ginsberg, The Washington Post

Benjamin L. Ginsberg practiced election law for 38 years. He co-chaired the bipartisan 2013 Presidential Commission on Election Administration.

 

This is as un-American as it gets. It returns the Republican Party to the bad old days of “voter suppression” that landed it under a court order to stop such tactics — an order lifted before this election. It puts the party on the wrong side of demographic changes in this country that threaten to make the GOP a permanent minority.

 

These are painful words for me to write. I spent four decades in the Republican trenches, representing GOP presidential and congressional campaigns, working on Election Day operations, recounts, redistricting and other issues, including trying to lift the consent decree.

10/30/2020   DEEP STATE, DEEP CHURCH: HOW QANON AND TRUMPISM HAVE INFECTED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH by Kathryn Joyce, Vanity Fair

Catholicism’s increasingly powerful political right reflects fringe America, fueled by paranoia, conspiracy, racism, and the threat of apocalypse.

 

Donald Trump has pinned his 2020 hopes, in part, on dissident Catholics who view the church as compromised, the pope as an unorthodox interloper, and their theology as not just compatible with, but spiritual backbone for conspiracy theories like QAnon. What happens after Tuesday, in the Church and in this country, in some ways will mirror this battle.

10/29/2020   QAnon Is Supposed to Be All About Protecting Kids. Its Primary Enabler Appears to Have Hosted Child Porn Domains. By AJ Vicens, Ali Breland, Mother Jones

One dark irony of QAnon has always been that the conspiracy theory, which holds that President Trump is waging a war on a cabal of elite liberal pedophiles, rose to prominence on 8chan, an imageboard where users swapped child pornography.

 

But that irony may have a darker, deeper layer: Mother Jones has uncovered that Jim Watkins, the owner of 8chan and its successor site, 8kun, controls a company that hosted scores of domains whose names suggest they are connected to child pornography.

 

[ Today's psychological concept: Projection.  As if there was any doubt that QAnon believers are the dumbest simps on this planet.]

10/20/2020   The Right’s Disinformation Machine Is Getting Ready for Trump to Lose, by Renée DiResta, The Atlantic

First, the machine that moves information through the far-right ecosystem is preparing its audience for the very real chance that Trump will lose. Its goal is simple—to preemptively delegitimize any outcome but a clear victory by the incumbent. Second, QAnon, whose adherents have deep ties to countless other large communities, has become a linchpin in that ecosystem, and the absurdity of its claims in no way reduces its political influence.

9/22/2020:    The men behind QAnon, Experts and researchers said the key to "Q" is hiding in plain sight., by Chris Francescani, ABC News

Earlier this month, the fact-checking website Logically identified QMap’s developer, or operator, as an IT expert living in New Jersey. The IT executive denied any association with Watkins to Daily Dot, a tech-centric website.

 

Until it went offline, QMap was hosted by the same content delivery network (CDN) service as 8kun. The CDN only hosts two other domains: Watkins' domains and The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website.

 

The host service company “was started right … at the end of October, 2019,” Brennan said. 8kun launched weeks later.

9/20/2020   The Supply of Disinformation Will Soon Be Infinite, by Renée DiResta, The Atlantic

Disinformation campaigns used to require a lot of human effort, but artificial intelligence will take them to a whole new level.

 

Someday soon, the reading public will miss the days when a bit of detective work could identify completely fictitious authors. Consider the case of “Alice Donovan.” In 2016, a freelance writer by that name emailed the editors of CounterPunch, a left-leaning independent media site, to pitch a story. Her Twitter profile identified her as a journalist. Over a period of 18 months, Donovan pitched CounterPunch regularly; the publication accepted a handful of her pieces, and a collection of left-leaning sites accepted others.

 

Then, in 2018, the editor of CounterPunch received a phone call from The Washington Post. A reporter there had obtained an FBI report suggesting that Alice Donovan was a “persona account”—a fictitious figure—created by the Main Directorate, the Russian military-intelligence agency commonly known as the GU. Skeptical of the Russia link, but concerned about having potentially published content from a fake person, the CounterPunch editors pored over Donovan’s oeuvre, which spanned topics as varied as Syria, Black Lives Matter, and Hillary Clinton’s emails. They found her to be not only suspicious, but also a plagiarist: Some of the articles bearing her byline appeared to have been written instead by another woman, Sophia Mangal, a journalist affiliated with something called the Inside Syria Media Center.

 

The ISMC’s “About” page claimed that the group, ostensibly a cross between a think tank and a news outlet, was founded in 2015 by a team of journalists. But as the CounterPunch editors dug further, they realized that Sophia Mangal was also a fabrication. So, it seemed, were the others at ISMC whom they tried to track down. CounterPunch published a January 2018 postmortem detailing what its investigation had found: articles plagiarized from The New Yorker, the Saudi-based Arab News, and other sources; prolific “journalists” who filed as many as three or four stories a day, but whose bylines disappeared after inquiries were made to verify that they existed; social-media profiles that featured stolen photos of real people; lively Twitter accounts that sycophantically defended the Syrian dictator and Russian ally Bashar al-Assad. The ISMC, it seemed, was a front. Its employees were purely digital personas controlled by Russian-intelligence agents.

 

Read more

 

Renée DiResta is the Technical research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory

8/29/2020:  Fox News pulled off the air in Britain, by Charles Riley, CNN

 

PDF:  The Conspiracy Theory Handbook, by Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook

8/3/2020:  The Lasting Trauma of Alex Jones’s Lies, by Megan Garber, The Atlantic

The systems that have for so long helped to enforce the notion of collective truth in America are no longer sufficient: Deception is everywhere. And it is dangerous.

6/18/2020:  “He's the Chosen One to run America”: Inside the cult of Trump, His rallies are Church and he is the Gospel, by Jeff Sharlet, Vanity Fair

Trump’s rallies—a bizarre mishmash of numerology, tweetology, and white supremacy—are the rituals by which he stamps his name on the American dream. As he prepares to resume them for the first time in months, his followers are ready to receive.

June 2020:  The Prophecies of Q, by Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic

American conspiracy theories are entering a dangerous new phase.

5/21/2020:  Life at the Trump Tailgate: Spiked Slurpees, Culture Wars and the Coronavirus Hoax, by Tim Alberta, Politico

Michigan is beset by disease, floods and joblessness, but it’s voter fraud conspiracies that really frighten the president’s supporters

5/21/2020: Once Again, Democrats Are Caught in the Trump Trap, by John F. Harris, Politico 

5/20/2020:  I Spent a Week Down the Right-Wing Media Rabbit Hole—and Was Mesmerized by It, by Philippe Reines, Daily Beast

Here’s what it’s like to spend a full week of COVID-19 quarantine holed up consuming nothing but Fox News, talk radio, conservative websites, and One America News.

The Atlantic:  Shadowland

Fueled by the internet, partisan media, and the 45th president of the United States—paranoid thinking is more powerful, and more dangerous, than ever, threatening not just individual facts, but the idea that empirical truth exists at all.

5/17/2020:  “Immune to Evidence”: How Dangerous Coronavirus Conspiracies Spread, by Marshall Allen, ProPublica

Conspiratorial videos and websites about COVID-19 are going viral. Here’s how one of the authors of “The Conspiracy Theory Handbook” says you can fight back. One big takeaway: Focus your efforts on people who can hear evidence and think rationally. 

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4/11/2020   Trump’s Socially Distanced Campaign Backed by a new loyalist press secretary, the president’s coronavirus briefings have replaced reelection rallies. By Olivia Nuzzi, Art by Barbara Kruger, New York Magazine

“It’s completely discordant. It’s literally a matter of life and death — and a sideshow,” says a senior Republican congressional staffer. “Everyone is kind of amused by Trump and his jokes at a rally. But this isn’t a joke. To say that at a briefing about a pandemic that’s killed 15,000 Americans so far and is going to kill more? It just shows he’s incapable of rising to the occasion.” The staffer adds, “I try not to watch. It’s pretty depressing.”

3/10/2020   The Conspiracies Are Coming From Inside the House, by Renée DiResta, The Atlantic

Four years ago, when Russia’s internet trolls wanted the American electorate to lose confidence in democracy, they had to work hard at it—by recirculating cynical postings from obscure social-media accounts, or by making up their own.

 

The message then was that everything in American society had been rigged: elections, football games, the stock market, primaries, polls, the media, “the system.” But this litany of conspiratorial messages bubbled up from the lower reaches of the social-media universe—for instance, from Twitter accounts whose Russian owners had worked painstakingly to gain followers.

 

In 2020, though, the vitriol, conspiracies, and incessant allegations of rigging aren’t coming from outsiders. They’re being driven by real influencers in the United States—by verified users, many from within the media, and by passionate hyper-partisan fan groups that band together to drive the public conversation.

2/5/2020   The right needs to stop falsely claiming that the Nazis were socialists, by Ronald J. Granieri, The Washington Post

The Nazis hated socialists. It was the governments that rebuilt Europe that embraced social welfare programs.

1/9/2020:  Of Ants and Men: Ant Behavior and Political Polarization May Be Driven by the Same Processes, Princeton University 

In a paper published January 8, 2020, in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Tokita and Tarnita examined two forces known to drive political polarization and added them to an existing model for how division of labor arises in ant communities. They found that a feedback between these two forces simultaneously resulted in division of labor and polarized social networks. 

10/21/2019   When the U.S. Used 'Fake News' to Sell Americans on World War I, by Patricia O'Toole, History.com

July/August 2019:  Why Are Right-Wing Conspiracies so Obsessed With Pedophilia? By Ali Breland, Mother Jones

The story is the same, from the day-care panics to QAnon: It’s not really about the kids. It’s about fears of a changing social order.

 

Beck likens conspiracy theories to parables. The ones that stick are those that most effectively validate a group’s anxieties, with blame assigned to outsiders. In a 2017 paper on Pizzagate and pedophile conspiracies, psychology professor Jim Kline, now at Northern Marianas College, argues that conspiracy theories “are born during times of turmoil and uncertainty.” In an interview, Kline goes further: “Social turmoil can overwhelm critical thinking. It makes us get beyond what is logically possible. We go into this state of hysteria and we let that overwhelm ourselves.”

5/10/2018:  Grifter or Grafter: A new parlor game that explains Trumpworld, by Jacob Weisberg, Slate

7/9/2017:  Misinforming the Majority: A Deliberate Strategy of Right-Wing Libertarians, by Mark Karlin, Truthout

6/17/2017   The Normalization of Conspiracy Culture, by ADRIENNE LAFRANCE, The Atlantic

Trump’s strategy in the face of all this drama has been to treat real and fake information interchangeably and discredit any report that’s unflattering to him. It’s why he refers to reputable news organizations as “fake news,” and why he brags about “going around” journalists by tweeting directly to the people. He wants to shorten the distance between the loony theories on the left and legitimate allegations of wrongdoing against him, making them indistinguishable.

 

Pushing conspiracy theories helped win Trump the presidency, and he’s now banking on the idea that they’ll help him as president. He’s casting himself as the victim of a new conspiracy—a “witch hunt” perpetrated by the forces that want to see him fail.

 

“Donald Trump communicates through conspiracy theories,” Uscinski says. “You can win the presidency on conspiracy theories, but it’s very difficult to govern on them. Because conspiracy theories are for losers, and now he’s a winner.”

5/10/2017   The Technology That Can Destroy a Presidency, by Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic

From Xerox copiers to secret tapes to missing emails, machines are still at the center of modern political scandals.

3/17/2017   The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency, By Jane Mayer, The New Yorker

How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency.

 

During the past decade, Mercer, who is seventy, has funded an array of political projects that helped pave the way for Trump’s rise. Among these efforts was public-opinion research, conducted by Caddell, showing that political conditions in America were increasingly ripe for an outsider candidate to take the White House. Caddell told me that Mercer “is a libertarian—he despises the Republican establishment,” and added, “He thinks that the leaders are corrupt crooks, and that they’ve ruined the country.”

2/11/2017   Want to Make a Lie Seem True? Say It Again. And Again. And Again, by Emily Dreyfuss, Wired

You only use 10 percent of your brain. Eating carrots improves your eyesight. Vitamin C cures the common cold. Crime in the United States is at an all-time high.

 

None of those things are true.

 

But the facts don't actually matter: People repeat them so often that you believe them. Welcome to the “illusory truth effect,” a glitch in the human psyche that equates repetition with truth.

 

Not to go all Godwin's Law on you, but even Adolf Hitler knew about the technique. "Slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea," he wrote in Mein Kampf.

 

The effect works because when people attempt to assess truth they rely on two things: whether the information jibes with their understanding, and whether it feels familiar. The first condition is logical: People compare new information with what they already know to be true and consider the credibility of both sources. But researchers have found that familiarity can trump rationality—so much so that hearing over and over again that a certain fact is wrong can have a paradoxical effect. It's so familiar that it starts to feel right.

3/16/2016   An Outbreak of Conspiracy Theories, by Julie Beck, The Atlantic

Why do emerging diseases like Zika tend to breed tall tales of sinister plots?

10/21/2015   Going Online in the Age of Conspiracy Theories, by Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic

A video claiming Back to the Future predicted 9/11 is the latest in a long and often bizarre tradition of questioning key moments in history.

 

“In statistics, a problem akin to apophenia is a Type I error, or false positive,” wrote Katy Waldman in a 2014 Slate article about the phenomenon. “It means believing something is real when it isn’t, based on a misleading pattern in the data.”

9/16/2014   It’s All Connected.  What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia, by Katy Waldman, Slate

In statistics, a problem akin to apophenia is a Type I error, or false positive. It means believing something is real when it isn’t, based on a misleading pattern in the data. The equal and opposite misstep, a Type II error, involves attributing a true relationship to chance. Defaulting to Type I thinking may have once conferred a survival advantage: Assume every rustle in the grass is a tiger, and you’ll last a lot longer than the carefree naïf who chalks each disturbance up to the wind. So, the theory goes, human brains evolved into “belief engines” and “pattern-recognition machines,” keen to organize jumbled sensory inputs into meaningful data. We are also expert detectors of conspiracies in random events, whispers in radio static, and the Virgin Mary in grilled cheese.

 

Sometimes these false positives create an orderly perceptual continuum that helps us think. They aren’t strictly necessary, but they are at least usually benign.

4/27/2012:   Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem, by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, The Washington Post

Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.

 

It’s not that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.

 

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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June 3:  After Midland flood, Wixom, Sanford lake residents face long, complicated restoration, by Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press 

Detroit Free Press:  Midland church swallowed by floodwaters: 'It tears a hole in your heart,' by Phoebe Wall Howard, 5/23/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Harrowing tales of Michigan residents escaping the Midland flood: 'A nightmare movie,' by Jeff Seidel, 5/23/2020

May 22:  Before-and-after satellite images of flooding in Midland County show water's destruction, by Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press

May 22:  State confirms Sanford Dam failed, satellite shows before-after flood images: What we know, by Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press

Boyce Hydro, for the second straight day Thursday, issued a statement pointing a finger at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) for the dam failure and draining of Wixom Lake, which spurred the evacuation of 10,000 residents and led officials to declare an emergency.

Meanwhile, EGLE confirmed Friday morning that the Sanford Dam, downriver of the Edenville Dam, also failed. It had been unclear whether the second dam had breached — or whether water was just spilling over.

Detroit News:  Trump grants Whitmer's request for emergency declaration over flooding, by Melissa Nann Burke, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  Dangers of Edenville dam failure evaded state scrutiny, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/21/2020

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Detroit Metro Times:  Owners of dam flooding Midland ignored federal regulators for years, by Lee DeVito, 5/20/2020

Detroit Free Press:  No pending Oroville, but Michigan's aging, crumbling dams pose a risk, by Keith Matheny, 2/14/2020

Most Michigan dams no longer serve the purpose for which they were built in the late 1800s or early to mid-1900s — power for things such as grist and sawmills and, later, hydropower for small communities whose increasing power needs have since led them to tap into the electric grid.

Detroit News Photos:  Flooding devastates Mid-Michigan region, 5/21/2020 

May 20:  Mid-Michigan flooding after Edenville, Sanford dam failures: Everything we know, by Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press

May 20:  Wixom Lake turns into a giant beach after the Edenville Dam bursts, by Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press

Michigan Environment Watch:  Watch videos, see tweets of flood damage from Edenville Dam failure, by Kathryn Dugal, 5/20/2020

Michigan Radio:  Midland County residents spending Memorial Day weekend cleaning up from massive flood, by Steve Carmody, 5/22/2020

Bridge:  Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations, by Kathryn Dugal, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:  State says it didn't pressure Boyce to raise water levels before dam failure, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  Tittabawassee crests at 35 feet: 'Never had an event like this,' by Francis X. Donnelly and James David Dickson, 5/21/2020

Bridge:  As floodwaters bear down on Dow Chemical, worries about water toxins, by Robin Erb, Kelly House, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:  Dangers of Edenville dam failure evaded state scrutiny, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:   Stunned evacuees face 'unthinkable' flood damage, by George Hunter and Francis X. Donnelly, 5/21/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Whitmer: Michigan will 'hold people responsible' for dam failures, by Frank Witsil, 5/20/2020

Bridge:  Feds revoked dam’s license over safety issues. Then Michigan deemed it safe. By Riley Beggin, Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House, 5/20/2020

MLive: Sanford Lake Dam owner Lee Mueller says he's not paying for $83,000 repair project, 1/21/2019

MLive:  Gov. Whitmer addresses Midland after dam break and flooding: ‘We’re gonna get through this,' by Riley Murdock, 5/20/2020

WDIV-4 Detroit Video:  Flooding: Lake Wixom emptied in Edenville, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:  Pilot captures aerial view of dam breach in Midland County, 5/19/2020

MLive:  Feds warned years ago Edenville Dam couldn’t handle a historic flood, by Garret Ellison, 5/20/2020

Bridge:  Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations, by Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House, 5/19/2020

The Edenville dam that catastrophically failed and prompted thousands of evacuations was cited repeatedly by federal authorities, who allege its owners had a “long history of noncompliance.”

Detroit News:  Feds revoked Edenville Dam license over fears it could not survive major flood, 5/20/2020

Detroit Free Press:  EGLE said failed Midland County dam in 'fair' condition after inspection in late 2018, by Keith Matheny, 5/20/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Mid-Michigan's catastrophic flooding adds to state's pandemic woes, by Frank Witsil, Jeff Seidel and Angie Jackson, 5/20/2020 

MLive:  Officials work to dispel rumors amid record-breaking Michigan flooding, by Robert Acosta, 5/20/2020 

MLive:  Flooding near downtown Midland as seen by drone, by Kaitlyn Farley, 5/19/2020

At 6:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Midland County Emergency Management determined that the Denville and Sanford dams are structurally sound.

MLive:  Residents told to evacuate after Edenville Dam failure in Midland County, by Robert Acosta, 5/19/2020

MLive Video:  Floodwater pours through Midland County dam, 5/19/2020

MLive:  Officials report flooded roadways, evacuations and dams unable to control water in mid-Michigan, by Isis Simpson-Mersha and Kaitlyn Farley, 5/19/2020 

Midland County Emergency Management stated that the Edenville and Sanford dams are “structurally sound but spilling floodwaters” as of around 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Midland County worked with representatives from Boyce Hyrdo, a hydroelectric power plant in Sanford, to make this determination. However, MCEM noted that the dams can no longer control or contain the water flowing through the spill gates.

MLive:  Loss of power dam license could lower Wixom Lake by 8 feet, by Chris Ehrmann, 1/29/2019 

MLive:  Michigan just had record-breaking heavy rains, here’s where most of it fell, by Mark Torregrossa, 5/19/2020 

 

This title is a slight nod to Hogarth's Rake's Progress, paintings of one man's character, dissolution, and damnation. Believe what you will.

 

12/8/2017   Commentary: I study liars. I’ve never seen one like Donald Trump, by Bella DePaulo, The Chicago Tribune

The most stunning way Trump's lies differed from our participants', though, was in their cruelty. An astonishing 50 percent of Trump's lies were hurtful or disparaging. For example, he proclaimed that John Brennan, James Clapper and James Comey, all career intelligence or law enforcement officials, were "political hacks." He said that "the Sloppy Michael Moore Show on Broadway was a TOTAL BOMB and was forced to close." He insisted that other "countries, they don't put their finest in the lottery system. They put people probably in many cases that they don't want." And he claimed that "Ralph Northam, who is running for Governor of Virginia, is fighting for the violent MS-13 killer gangs & sanctuary cities."

4/8/2019:  Trump Tower of Babel, Adriana's Blah-g

Separate from the Las Vegas Strip, sits Trump's monument of gaud. His bright gold building is not part of the Strip and sits off in the distance all by itself.

 

I imagine our tightwad idiot president purchasing the cheaper, non prime real estate with Russian money probably thinking, in all his narcissism, that the Strip would follow him. 11 years later, it hasn’t.

 

His golden tower sits off in the horizon in mocking symbolism of the con man who has never been accepted by the big boys. They shunned him in New York and Las Vegas appears to have done the same.

 

He preaches intolerance and has everyone speaking different languages. This suits him fine because as long as we are unable to find common ground and unity, this disgusting man continues to rule over a confused, ‘scattered’ people.

6/30/2019:  Imagining Post-Trump Nationalism, by Emma Green, The Atlantic

The small conservative magazine First Things aims to reclaim what has become a dirty word in the Trump era.

7/8/2019:  Trump has referred to his Wharton degree as ‘super genius stuff.’ An admissions officer recalls it differently, by Michael Kranish, The Washington Post

By the time Trump released his autobiography, “The Art of the Deal,” in 1987, he had embraced the idea of what he called “truthful hyperbole.” The key to promotion, he explained, “is bravado. I play to people’s fantasies. . . . People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular.”

7/9/2019:   Trump’s tariff claims are demonstrably false. Here’s why. By Benn Steil and Benjamin Della Rocca, The Washington Post

First, foreign countries don’t pay a dime of his tariffs. Tariffs are taxes on imports — paid by the importers, not by the exporters. The president’s advisers know this, and therefore try to explain away his “China pays the tariffs” claim the way he explains away his “Mexico pays for the wall” claim. Mexico does not “write a check” for the wall, he admitted, but (somehow) pays through changes in trade flows that will (someday) emerge from his NAFTA revisions. Likewise, China does not actually pay the president’s tariffs, trade adviser Peter Navarro explained, but “bears most of the burden of the tariffs” by lowering its export prices to offset them.

 

Fortunately, we can test this claim. Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes an aggregate index of the pre-tariff prices of imported Chinese goods. Any Chinese price cuts would cause this index to fall.

 

Given that tariffs last year raised the import costs of Chinese goods roughly 6 percent on average, if Chinese firms had cut prices to offset Trump’s tariffs the index would have fallen 6 percent since last June — when the trade war started. Yet the index has fallen barely 1 percent, and at least some of that tiny decline can be explained by Chinese currency depreciation — which makes Chinese goods cheaper for U.S. importers. There is, therefore, no evidence supporting Navarro’s claim. Americans are, in fact, bearing the burden of Trump’s China tariffs.

8/23/2019:   Trump’s trade war shows the reality of ‘America First’ in action, by George Will

11/18/2019:  White House Denies Trump Health Emergency, by Peter Baker, The New York Times

Two days after a mysterious, unannounced hospital visit, President Trump’s physician issued a late-night statement attributing it to “regular, primary preventative care.”

12/12/2019:   Trump is getting played by China on trade, by Josh Rogin, The Washington Post

1/27/2020:  Four big takeaways from the explosive John Bolton revelations, by Greg Sargent, The Washington Post

1/28/2020:  Bolton isn’t just selling books. He’s saving his legacy, by Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post

1/28/2020:  John Bolton could be Trump’s John Dean, by Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post

2/24/2020:  Overhyped Coronavirus Weaponized Against Trump, by Rush Limbaugh, The Rush Limbaugh Show

RUSH: Folks, this coronavirus thing, I want to try to put this in perspective for you. It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump. Now, I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. (interruption) You think I’m wrong about this? You think I’m missing it by saying that’s... (interruption) Yeah, I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.

[Editor:  Fuck You and your Lies, Rush ]

3/20/2020:  You Cheered as He Fucked Up. No Take Backs, Trumpists, by Rick Wilson, Daily Beast

The cliché about authoritarian leaders being strong but brittle is coming true with Donald Trump. The cost of this lesson will be tallied in lives and a wrecked economy.

 

Donald Trump and his fans are learning that karmic externalities are a bitch. They're learning that you can get away with a chain of scams, business failures, bankruptcies, and branding disasters and win the presidency but still fail utterly as a president and a person.

 

His enablers know the truth and have tried to turn the battleship of bullshit toward it. They know Trump didn't just mishandle the Coronavirus crisis, and he did so with his political standing and benefit in mind. Trump spent six weeks claiming to his soft-minded followers that the worst public health crisis since the 1918 H1N1 Spanish Flu was a fake news Democratic media hoax.

4/2/2020:  Authoritarian Populists Have Six Classic Moves. Trump’s Response to COVID-19 Uses Five of Them, by Kristy Parker and Yascha Mounk, The Atlantic

Donald Trump, to put it politely, does not fit the mold of a disciplined strategist. But, guided by his instincts, and believing that he alone represents the people, he chafes against restrictions on his powers. Over time, he has corrupted the purpose of an ever-growing list of democratic institutions, making them serve his own interests instead of the public good.

 

While a disciplined autocrat might be more obviously dangerous to American democracy than an erratic one such as Trump, the latter’s actions fit a similar template that bodes ill for American institutions. Recent history shows that authoritarian populists engage in six categories of assaults on democracy, of which seizing raw executive power is but one. As president, Trump has engaged in each of these behaviors: spreading disinformation, quashing dissent, politicizing independent institutions, amassing executive power, delegitimizing communities, and corrupting elections.

4/28/2020: America’s Elections Won’t Be the Same After 2020, by Russell Berman and Elaine Godfrey, The Atlantic

Democracy in America has already changed so much that the way citizens vote today would be unrecognizable to the nation’s Founders. Women and African Americans secured the franchise just in the past century, after decades of repression and long, painful campaigns for equal rights. The secret ballot—a custom now cherished as inviolable—did not become the norm across the U.S. until well into the 1800s. More recently, the expansion of early voting has elongated elections by days and weeks, challenging the very concept of Election Day.

4/28/2020:  GOP Stimulus Plan Is a Trillion-Dollar Trump Re-Election Fund, by Michael Tomasky, Daily Beast

To watch these people who’ve spent 40 years on the Government Is Evil beat see that now we need government exposes the lie at the heart of two generations of conservative rhetoric.

5/8/2020:  William Barr and his henchmen must be held accountable, by Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post

5/15/2020:  Washington needs a new U.S. attorney, The Editorial Board, The Washington Post

5/21/2020:  The System Failed the Test of Trump, by David Frum, The Atlantic

Have you ever known anyone swindled by a scam? It’s remarkable how determined they remain to defend the swindler, and for how long—and how they try to shift the blame to those who tried to warn them of the swindle. The pain of being seen as a fool hurts more than the loss of money; it’s more important to protect the ego against indignity than to visit justice upon the perpetrator. We human beings so often prefer a lie that affirms us to a truth that challenges us.

 

Americans are living now through the worst pandemic in a century and the severest economic crisis since the Great Depression. At every turn, President Donald Trump has made the crises worse. Had somebody else been president in December 2019—Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush—fewer Americans would have met untimely deaths; fewer Americans would now be unemployed; fewer businesses would be heading toward bankruptcy.

5/26/2020:  ‘Fox & Friends’ Confronts Kayleigh McEnany With Chris Wallace Criticism, by Matt Wilstein, Daily Beast

“Were you questioning the religious beliefs of the press?” Brian Kilmeade asked Kayleigh McEnany directly.

 

About halfway through her appearance on that show Tuesday morning, Kilmeade brought up a comment McEnany made during her Friday press conference. “Boy, it’s interesting to be in a room that desperately wants to seem to see these churches and houses of worship stay closed,” she told reporters, some of whom objected in the moment to that blatant condescension.

 

As Kilmeade put it, “Some of the press got insulted,” before reading McEnany part of what Wallace said about her comments on his Sunday show.

 

“Let me just say, Sam Donaldson and me in the Reagan White House, we were pretty tough on the White House press secretaries and we never had our religious beliefs questioned or were lectured on what we should ask,” Wallace said. Kilmeade left out the part where Wallace said that in his six years covering the White House he “never saw a White House press secretary act like that.”

5/27/2020:  If Trump Moves RNC, ‘Our Whole Future Is Gone’, by Hunter Woodall, Daily Beast

President Trump’s threat to move the Republican convention from Charlotte, North Carolina, sent chills through a business community already suffering from COVID-19 shutdowns.

5/28/2020   The Karen in Chief, by David A. Graham, The Atlantic

The term is most commonly applied to middle-aged women—but why abide by that sexist standard? A man can easily be a Karen, as Donald Trump is proving this week. When Trump gets sufficiently angry about anyone who dares criticize him, he is quick to work the referees, attempting to use the force of the law to bully the critics into submission and to try to intimidate would-be critics from opening their mouths. That’s what Trump is doing in resurfacing old and spurious accusations of murder against the TV host Joe Scarborough, and in preparing an executive order to punish social-media companies after Twitter dared to fact-check his words.

5/29/2020:  Trump is the Looter, by David Frum, The Atlantic

5/29/2020:  How Dare All These People Die and Threaten Donald Trump’s Re-Election Chances, by Molly Jong-Fast, Daily Beast

Trump and his supporters feel (whether they admit it or not) that Trump is the center of the entire Earth and the media ecosystem, ergo anything that happens in the world is actually happening to Trump primarily. “Deadly pandemic kills a hundred thousand American souls” is merely a Democratic plot to make the president look bad. It seems too nuts to be true but various members of the Trumpy media continually imply it, and then Eric Trump went as far as to say it.

 

In February, when the coronavirus was still raging mainly in Wuhan, the president tweeted, “Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Coronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible.” His supporters agreed. Rush Limbaugh told his audience on February 24, “Folks, this coronavirus thing, I want to try to put this in perspective for you. It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump.”

6/2/2020:  Trump Is No Richard Nixon, by David Frum, The Atlantic

In 1968, Nixon offered a promise of peace and order. Today, Trump offers only conflict.

6/3/2020:  Maybe there is no floor for Trump’s support, by Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post

6/4/2020:  Inside the Wild Race for the Right to Host 'Nightmare' RNC, by Hunter Woodall, Hanna Trudo and Sam Brodey, Daily Beast

6/5/2020:  The Republicans Telling Their Voters to Ignore Trump, by Russell Berman, The Atlantic

There’s a major complication in President Donald Trump’s recent crusade against voting by mail, which he has called “a scam” that will lead to “the greatest Rigged Election” in history: In states that Trump desperately needs to win this fall, Republicans love it.

6/6/2020:  Hundreds gather in Shelby Township for road rally to support Trump, meet candidates, by Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press

6/7/2020  Joe Biden has doubled his lead over Donald Trump in Michigan, poll says, by Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

6/8/2020:  Will New York’s High Society Finally Turn on Ivanka Trump? By Hannah Seligson, Daily Beast

6/9/2020: Trump Camp Runs Ads on D.C. Cable to Ease the Boss’ Anxieties and Buck Up Congressional GOPers, by Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng, Daily Beast

6/10/2020:  Trump’s bluster about ‘antifa’ and the protests takes another hit, by Greg Sargent, The Washington Post

6/10/2020  Trump is spreading a dangerous conspiracy theory about antifa, Editorial Board, The Washington Post

June 11:  Why Republicans Still Can’t Quit Trump, by Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic

Almost all observers in both parties that I’ve spoken with agree that a Trump loss will embolden the Republicans who have been most skeptical about his message and agenda to more loudly press their case. Yet many remain dubious that whatever happens in November, those critics can assemble a majority inside the party by 2024—one that’s eager to reconsider the racial nationalism and anti-elite populism that has electrified big segments of the Republican base but alienated young people, minorities, and a growing number of previously Republican-leaning suburbanites.

 

That means a Republican Party committed to Trump’s strategy of maximizing support among the white voters most uneasy with America’s demographic and social changes may endure for years, even as the nation’s racial and religious diversity inexorably grows. That view is common, though not unchallenged, inside the GOP, both among those who welcome and fear that prospect.

June 11:  Trump’s most loyal media ally promised a pro-Trump poll. It didn’t deliver — and then pulled its story, by Philip Bump, The Washington Post

CNN’s release of a poll this week showing President Trump trailing former vice president Joe Biden by 14 points nationally clearly rattled the president and his reelection campaign. In short order, Trump tweeted out a memo making various allegations about how and why CNN conducted the poll, each assertion ludicrous and easily debunked. On Wednesday, the campaign escalated its efforts to portray CNN’s poll as unfair, demanding that CNN retract the poll and issue an apology.

 

CNN’s attorneys, with complete and understandable justification, declined to do so.

June 11:  Trump’s irrationality is undermining his own campaign, by Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post

June 13:  An Anti-Trump Slam Dunk, by Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

On the issue of race, America’s Coach boxes out America’s Cretin.

June 14:  Trump Aides Know His Polls Are Terrible—And Tell Him Otherwise, by Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

“There are a few pollsters who are bought and paid for, and they will tell you [the client] what you want to hear,” Frank Luntz, a famed-GOP pollster and Trump-skeptical conservative, said, without naming names. “There are pollsters [for whom] if the check is big enough, the lie will be big enough.”

“I don’t envy those who have to tell Donald Trump what he doesn’t want to hear,” Luntz continued. “I’ve met him several times, I’ve met Biden several times. I would rather present bad [polling] information to Biden than Donald Trump. Presenting bad information or tough information to Joe Biden, you’ll break his heart, if you present tough information to Donald Trump, he breaks your arm.”

June 14:  John Bolton made a tragic mistake. It’s not the one you might think, by George T. Conway III, The Washington Post

Bolton made one fateful misjudgment. He overestimated the character, honor and patriotism of Senate Republicans. It would have taken just four, joining with Democrats, for the Senate to have issued a subpoena. But only two voted to hear Bolton testify. A Yale-educated lawyer, Bolton perhaps calculated that Senate Republicans would live up to their oaths of office, and to the separate impeachment-trial oath they took to do “impartial justice.” He assumed they would uphold the Constitution. Sadly, he was wrong.

June 14:  Trump tries to explain his slow and unsteady walk down a ramp at West Point, by Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

June 14:  Trump’s Halting Walk Down Ramp Raises New Health Questions, by Maggie Haberman, The New York Times

Another video circulated of Mr. Trump taking a sip of water from a glass tucked inside his lectern on the dais at West Point. Mr. Trump held the glass with his right hand and brought it to his mouth, but appeared to momentarily have trouble lifting his arm farther. He used his left hand to push the bottom of the glass so that it reached his lips.

June 15:  Trump supporters already know he will definitely win by a landslide, by Paul Waldman, The Washington Post

June 16:  New polls show Trump sinking under the seismic events of the moment, by Greg Sargent, The Washington Post

June 16:  Alabama Republicans are furious with Trump: report, by Tom Boggioni, RawStory

Riley Seibenhener, head of the Geneva County GOP, bluntly stated, “I’m pissed off about it. It bothers me that so many people are voting for Tommy Tuberville because Trump doesn’t like Sessions,” Seibenhener stated, while adding he felt that Sessions had just been doing the right thing when he recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into the president.

June 16:  Largest Tulsa Newspaper Says Trump Not Welcome, by Common Dreams (Crooks and Liars)

There is no treatment for Covid-19 and no vaccine. It will be our healthcare system that will have to deal with whatever effects follow.

June 17:  Bolton’s new book blows apart one of Trump’s biggest reelection arguments, by Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman

Even after impeachment, even after his disastrous mishandling of coronavirus, even after over 19,000 false and misleading claims and thousands of appalling tweets, President Trump still retains the capacity to shock us with the depth of his corruption.

June 17:  John Bolton delivers a scathing indictment of Trump — and of himself, by Max Boot, The Washington Post

But better late than never. Reading the excerpt from your new book in the Wall Street Journal, along with summaries of it in The Post and the New York Times, makes clear that you are confirming in every particular — and then some — the indictment of Trump by his critics. The president is every bit as ignorant, incompetent, capricious and heedless of the public interest as many of us have been saying while you stayed silent or supported him.

June 17:  November is our chance to wipe out Trumpism, not just Trump, by Brian Klaas, The Washington Post

June 18:  Liberals might have gotten a taste of what makes Trump so popular, by Megan McArdle, The Washington Post

It seems likely that the iron law will remain in force, because the purer your own side gets, the more terrifyingly alien are the people who remain outside your carefully constructed defensive perimeter.

June 18:  John Bolton is a weasel in a party of weasels, by Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post

June 18:  The stage is being set for the repudiation of Donald Trump in November, by Michael Gerson, The Washington Post

June 18:  “HE’S THE CHOSEN ONE TO RUN AMERICA”: INSIDE THE CULT OF TRUMP, HIS RALLIES ARE CHURCH AND HE IS THE GOSPEL, by Jeff Sharlet, Vanity Fair

Trump’s rallies—a bizarre mishmash of numerology, tweetology, and white supremacy—are the rituals by which he stamps his name on the American dream. As he prepares to resume them for the first time in months, his followers are ready to receive.

June 19:  Why Trump’s rally in Tulsa will be remembered by history, by Paul Waldman, The Washington Post

So much of the disastrous chaos of this moment in American history is compressed into this one gathering that when the history of this presidency is written, the Tulsa rally may be the one we remember more than any other.

June 20:  A Friday night massacre that backfired, by Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post 

June 20:  In the crisis at Justice, impartial rule of law is on the line, by Stuart M. Gerson, The Washington Post

Stuart M. Gerson served as assistant attorney general under President George H.W. Bush and as acting attorney general in the early months of President Bill Clinton’s administration.

 

The lawyers in both the D.C. and Manhattan offices have been deeply inculcated by great U.S. attorneys, such as Silbert and Thomas A. Flannery in D.C., and Robert M. Morgenthau and Robert B. Fiske Jr. in New York. They knew always to adhere assiduously to the admonition of the Supreme Court in the signal case of Berger v. United States that the “United States Attorney is the representative not of an ordinary party ... but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all.” All of the lawyers, from top to bottom, who worked in either of these offices acted accordingly.

June 20:   James Comey: Geoffrey Berman upheld the finest tradition of the SDNY office, by James Comey, The Washington Post

There are few moments of true pivot in the lives of institutions, but the Southern District of New York pivoted in 1906. In the words of one of the district’s judges, “Henry L. Stimson changed the office of United States Attorney. He created the model of competence, integrity and professionalism that has set the standard for prosecutors ever since.”

 

With Stimson, a culture was founded. Politics were disdained. Academic achievement was prized. The office’s lawyers were known for being better — smarter, more principled, harder-working — than those in other federal offices, especially at the main Justice Department in Washington. There were 11 other federal prosecutors’ offices with “Southern District” in their names, but only one the world knew by that shorthand alone.

June 20:  We knew Trump didn’t care for human rights in China. But this is a new low, by the Editorial Board, The Washington Post 

“According to our interpreter,” Bolton writes, “Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the [Concentration] camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do.” Mr. Trump has called Bolton’s book a “compilation of lies and made up stories.” 

June 21:  Distinguished pols of the week: They may beat Trump all by themselves, by Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post

Head and shoulders above all the rest in the hard work of beating back President Trump and Trumpism stand the good folks at the Lincoln Project: Republicans George T. Conway III, Reed Galen, Jennifer Horn, Mike Madrid, Steve Schmidt, Ron Steslow, John Weaver and Rick Wilson. They made their careers helping to elect Republicans, but in the era of Trump, they have put partisanship aside in the cause of patriotism and defense of American democracy. Their ads have been the most effective and memorable of the presidential campaign, singeing Trump in a way Democrats have not quite mastered.

 

They launched two of their most devastating ads this week. The first highlighted Trump’s feebleness on full display at United States Military Academy at West Point: 

 

The next drew on the revelation in former national security adviser John Bolton’s memoir about Trump’s weakness on China and effort to enlist President Xi Jinping to help him win reelection: 

 

 

John Bolton's book seems to have found some homes on Google Drive.  Google has reacted to the demand by limiting downloads.  To get around that, I am told you can employ your browser's Print icon. That will open the undownloadable pdf in a new tab.  Save that page or print to a file instead of a printer. 

Being an innocent, I can hardly have tried either or both methods.  It's something I read about - here.  If what appears to be copyright theft bothers you, consider this. Bolton won't keep his profits from the sale of the book. Trump's Capo, Attorney General William Barr, will have Bolton's profits from the book profits seized, possible because of a technicality in the book's State Department vetting process.  Bolton will have to be satisfied with his $2M advance.

 

June 21:  Attendance at Trump's Tulsa rally was just under 6,200, Tulsa Fire Department says    Axios Report  

June 21:  Turnout At Trump’s Tulsa Rally Was Just Under 6,200–A Fraction Of The Venue’s 19,200 Capacity, by Andrew Solender, Forbes 

Andrew Little, the Public Information Officer for the Tulsa Fire Department, confirmed to Forbes on Sunday that a tally taken by the fire marshal clocked the turnout at just under 6,200 people, far fewer attendees than the campaign expected.

June 21:  Chris Wallace Shreds Trump Campaign Adviser: ‘You Guys Look Silly’ for Denying Poor Rally Attendance, by Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

“There are empty seats there,” Wallace retorted. “The other half of the rally was empty. The arena was empty. You can’t deny it.”

June 22:  Bolton Says Jared Kushner Was the Most Important Person in the White House, by Erin Banco, Daily Beast

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton said in an interview with ABC News that aired Sunday night that the most important person in the White House was President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.  “It varied from time to time,” Bolton said. “The sustained answer to that question... is Jared Kushner.”

Bolton went on to say that Trump was generally uninformed and did not do his homework.  “There was an unwillingness... to do systematic learning so he could make the most informed decisions,” Bolton said, adding that the president’s day didn’t “start until almost lunchtime.”

“I don’t think he is fit for office,” Bolton said.

June 22:  Meghan McCain: This Image Will ‘Haunt the Trump Campaign’, by Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

Meghan McCain, The View’s resident conservative co-host, said Monday that the now-infamous footage of a sullen President Donald Trump shuffling off Marine One after his lightly attended Tulsa rally will “haunt” his campaign and could be the “writing on the wall.”

 

Following days of hype from his campaign that hundreds of thousands of supporters reserved tickets and an overflow crowd was expected for his rally in Tulsa, only 6,200 people attended the event—less than one-third of the capacity at the arena where it was held. The president, who was reportedly “furious” over the embarrassing crowd size, was seen later that night walking off Marine One with his tie undone and a crumpled MAGA hat in his hand.

 

“He looks like a depressed person that realized maybe, just maybe the writing is on the wall right now,” the “View” host declared.

June 25:  Trump keeps claiming that the most dangerous cities in America are all run by Democrats. They aren’t. By Philip Bump, The Washington Post

June 26:  Facebook to label all rule-breaking posts - even Trump’s, by Barbara Ortutay, Associated Press, Austin American Statesman

Earlier in the day, shares of Facebook and Twitter dropped sharply after the Unilever, the giant company behind brands such as Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Dove soap, said it will halt U.S. advertising on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram through at least the end of the year.

 

Unilever, the European consumer-product maker, said it took the move to protest the amount of hate speech online. Unilever said the polarized atmosphere in the United States ahead of November’s presidential election placed responsibility on brands to act.

June 26:   Mary Trump once stood up to her uncle Donald. Now her book describes a ‘nightmare’ of family dysfunction, by Michael Kranish, The Washington Post

Mary L. Trump was embroiled in a feud over her inheritance two decades ago when her uncle Donald Trump and his siblings punched back in classic style. In an obscure court filing, they belittled her, alleging she “lives primarily off the Trump income” and is “not gainfully employed.”

 

Actually, Mary Trump had embarked on a new career. She studied patients with schizophrenia at Hillside Hospital on Long Island for at least six months during this period, meeting with an array of people who were delusional, hallucinatory and suicidal.

 

Over time, she deepened her studies of the disorder, contributed to a book on treating schizophrenia, wrote a dissertation on stalkers, and became a clinical psychologist. But not since she became part of the lawsuit in 2000 against her uncle has she spoken in detail about what she sees as the disorders of Donald Trump. 

June 28:   Trump promotes video of a supporter saying ‘white power’, by Anne Gearan, The Washington Post

The video of a pro-Trump golf cart parade in the Villages, a retirement community in central Florida, includes counterprotesters calling the president a bigot. The video shows Trump supporters and opponents facing off in screaming matches filled with expletives and insults.

 

“Thank you to the great people of The Villages. The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!!” Trump tweeted, as he shared the video that opens with an elderly white man in a golf cart decorated with Trump signs being heckled by a counterprotester who asks “where’s your white hood?” The man responds by twice saying “white power” as a woman beside him chants “Trump! Trump!”

June 28:  John Bolton’s been a political brawler for decades, but his rumble with Donald Trump is extreme — even for him., by Manuel Roig-Franzia, The Washington Post 

June 28:  Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says, by Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt and Michael Schwirtz, The New York Times

The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.

June 29:   From pandering to Putin to abusing allies and ignoring his own advisers, Trump's phone calls alarm US officials, by Carl Bernstein, CNN

(CNN)In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, President Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and so abusive to leaders of America's principal allies, that the calls helped convince some senior US officials -- including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff -- that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States, according to White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations.

 

The calls caused former top Trump deputies -- including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly, as well as intelligence officials -- to conclude that the President was often "delusional," as two sources put it, in his dealings with foreign leaders. The sources said there was little evidence that the President became more skillful or competent in his telephone conversations with most heads of state over time. Rather, he continued to believe that he could either charm, jawbone or bully almost any foreign leader into capitulating to his will, and often pursued goals more attuned to his own agenda than what many of his senior advisers considered the national interest.

 

By far the greatest number of Trump's telephone discussions with an individual head of state were with Erdogan, who sometimes phoned the White House at least twice a week and was put through directly to the President on standing orders from Trump, according to the sources. Meanwhile, the President regularly bullied and demeaned the leaders of America's principal allies, especially two women: telling Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom she was weak and lacked courage; and telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she was "stupid."

 

One person familiar with almost all the conversations with the leaders of Russia, Turkey, Canada, Australia and western Europe described the calls cumulatively as 'abominations' so grievous to US national security interests that if members of Congress heard from witnesses to the actual conversations or read the texts and contemporaneous notes, even many senior Republican members would no longer be able to retain confidence in the President.

 

But his most vicious attacks, said the sources, were aimed at women heads of state. In conversations with both May and Merkel, the President demeaned and denigrated them in diatribes described as "near-sadistic" by one of the sources and confirmed by others. "Some of the things he said to Angela Merkel are just unbelievable: he called her 'stupid,' and accused her of being in the pocket of the Russians ... He's toughest [in the phone calls] with those he looks at as weaklings and weakest with the ones he ought to be tough with."


The calls "are so unusual," confirmed a German official, that special measures were taken in Berlin to ensure that their contents remained secret. The official described Trump's behavior with Merkel in the calls as "very aggressive" and said that the circle of German officials involved in monitoring Merkel's calls with Trump has shrunk: "It's just a small circle of people who are involved and the reason, the main reason, is that they are indeed problematic."

June 29:   Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops, by Eric Schmitt, Adam Goldman and Nicholas Fandos, The New York Times

The recovery of large amounts of American cash at a Taliban outpost in Afghanistan helped tip off U.S. officials.

July 8:  Mary Trump Book Claims Trump Praised Her Breasts and His Own Sister Called Him a Clown, by Lachlan Cartwright, andrew Kirell and Scott Bixby, Daily Beast

Mary Trump’s book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, paints her uncle the president in a horrifying light and reveals explosive details about his character and disparaging comments made by his sister, retired federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry.

 

“If he is afforded a second term, it would be the end of American democracy,” Mary bluntly declares in the book. “Donald, following the lead of my grandfather and with complicity, silence, and inaction from his siblings, destroyed my father. I can’t let him destroy my country.”

 

 July 11:  Mitt Romney Slams Donald Trump’s Commutation For Roger Stone: ‘Historic Corruption’ by Lee Moran, Huffpost

TweetOfRomney2020 07 11

 

 

8/12/2020   Tariff Man punishes the Canadian bullies, by George Will, The Washington Post

Donald Trump’s almost erotic relationship with the Whirlpool Corp. continued last week when he traveled to Whirlpool’s factory in Clyde, Ohio, where he boasted to workers that he reimposed tariffs on Canadian aluminum. Why this pleased them is mysterious.


“Canada was taking advantage of us, as usual,” he said, as usual. He is indignant that although America has been made great again, it is being bullied by Canada, which inflicts on U.S. purchasers aluminum that is too inexpensive, destroying “our aluminum jobs.”

 

But only 3 percent of U.S. aluminum jobs involve producing primary aluminum. Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics explains that smelters use vast quantities of energy, so most are located where electricity is inexpensive, as in Canada, which has abundant hydropower. Only three companies smelt primary aluminum in the United States, and one of them, Alcoa, smelts globally, so these tariffs essentially serve two companies. Ninety-seven percent of U.S. aluminum jobs involve making things from the metal — things that will cost more and hence sell less because of Trump’s tariffs.

8/12/2020:   Even for Trump, the Canada aluminum tariff is especially senseless, by The Editorial Board, The Washington Post

9/14/2020   The People v. Donald J. Trump, by Jeff Wise, Intelligencer

The defendant looked uncomfortable as he stood to testify in the shabby courtroom. Dressed in a dark suit and somber tie, he seemed aged, dimmed, his posture noticeably stooped. The past year had been a massive comedown for the 76-year-old former world leader. For decades, the bombastic onetime showman had danced his way past scores of lawsuits and blustered through a sprawl of scandals. Then he left office and was indicted for tax fraud. As a packed courtroom looked on, he read from a curled sheaf of papers. It seemed as though the once inconceivable was on the verge of coming to pass: The country’s former leader would be convicted and sent to a concrete cell.

 

The date was October 19, 2012. The man was Silvio Berlusconi, the longtime prime minister of Italy.

10/31/2020   Bad Hombres: All of the Trumpworld Figures Who’ve Been Arrested, Indicted, or Jailed, by Pilar Melendez, The Daily Beast

At least 18 people connected to President Trump have been locked up, indicted, or arrested since the real-estate mogul announced his candidacy in 2015.

11/1/2020   The real results of Trump’s trade tariffs, The Editorial Board, The Washington Post

The U.S. trade deficit with China now stands exactly where it did when the president took office, having risen during his first 18 months, then come back down in the wake of the tariff war. The U.S.’s global trade deficit, meanwhile, is substantially higher than it was when Mr. Trump took office. As for manufacturing, the tariffs seem to have mainly shifted jobs from industries that do not benefit from such levies to those that do, pretty much as Economics 101 predicts. A December 2019 Federal Reserve paper found that tariffs helped raise manufacturing employment by 0.3 percent in industries exposed to Chinese competition, while cutting it 1.1 percent in industries that rely in Chinese-made inputs. Meanwhile, factory jobs also suffered somewhat from China’s retaliatory tariffs.

 

Among Mr. Trump’s errors, tariffs will be relatively difficult for a possible Biden administration to undo, since they have now acquired political constituencies among those firms and unions that do benefit from them.

11/1/2020   Trump was way worse than I feared in 2016. Here’s how.  By Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post

11/6/2020    Incendiary texts traced to outfit run by top Trump aide, by FRANK BAJAK and GARANCE BURKE, Associated Press

“This kind of message is playing with fire, and we are very lucky that it does not seem to have driven more conflict,” said John Scott-Railton, senior researcher at the University of Toronto’s online watchdog Citizen Lab. Scott-Railton helped track down the source.

11/6/2020    Trump National Security Officials Horrified by His Election Lies, by Erin Banco, The Daily Beast

Even members of President Donald Trump’s own national security team are worried about the misleading information he’s pushing about the vote count. And they’re increasingly concerned that the president will not respect the final results.

 

Top national security officials say they have spent the days since the election tracking disinformation about the vote count, including Team Trump’s efforts to erode trust in the ballot tallying and reporting process. Despite working with the big social media companies to flag some of those falsities, officials say there is little they can do to prevent the president’s team from propagating disinformation in public—from Twitter to nationally televised press conferences. With increasingly flagrant efforts by Trump to cast doubt on the vote tallies, officials are preparing for how to handle a situation in which the race is officially called for Joe Biden—and Trump refuses to concede.

11/7/2020:    Trump Will Have His Own ‘Deep State’—and His Own #Resistance, by Spencer Ackerman, The Daily Beast

 

CNNTrumpStonewallsTransitionBernieQuote 

 

11/10/2020   The Abnormal Presidency, by David Montgomery, The Washington Post

What does it mean to be presidential? Article II of the Constitution describes the office in just a handful of paragraphs. To a remarkable extent, the presidency is shaped by unwritten traditions and expectations that historians and political scientists call “norms” — what political scientists Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt call the “soft guardrails” of American democracy.

 

One of the things Trump has forced presidential scholars to realize “is the extent to which shamelessness in a president is really empowering,” says Jack Goldsmith, a former Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration who teaches at Harvard Law School. The current presidency also reveals “the extent to which the whole system before Trump was built on a basic assumption about a range of reasonableness among presidents, a range of willingness to play within the system, a range of at least a modicum of understanding of political and normative constraints.” 

November, 2020   Why Obama Fears for Our Democracy, by Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic

I’ve said this before: The problem facing the Republican Party, the conservative movement, whatever you want to call it, goes back to the attitudes of the base—attitudes that have been shaped by right-wing media. And so essentially what Republican elected officials have done is to say to themselves that in order to survive, we have to go along with conspiracy theorizing, false assertion, fantasies that Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh and others in that echo chamber have concocted, because people believe them.

 

The populist wave was abetted by Fox News and other right-wing media outlets, he said, and encouraged to spread by social-media companies uninterested in exploring their impact on democracy. “I don’t hold the tech companies entirely responsible,” he said, “because this predates social media. It was already there. But social media has turbocharged it. I know most of these folks. I’ve talked to them about it. The degree to which these companies are insisting that they are more like a phone company than they are like The Atlantic, I do not think is tenable. They are making editorial choices, whether they’ve buried them in algorithms or not. The First Amendment doesn’t require private companies to provide a platform for any view that is out there.”

11/19/2020   Trump Has Abdicated in the Face of Disaster by David A. Graham, The Atlantic

The nation faces an unprecedented crisis, and the president has left a void.

11/20/2020   Federal Judge Strikes DOJ from the Docket in E. Jean Carroll’s Case Against Donald Trump, by Adam Klasfeld, Law & Crime

In late October, a federal judge denied the Department of Justice’s effort to fend off rape allegations against President Donald Trump in a defamation suit on the taxpayer’s dime, but the court’s docket did not catch up with that reality for weeks.

 

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan made the record abundantly clear in a 1-page order on Friday.

 

“[T]he docket sheet erroneously lists Mr. [Stephen] Terrell and another attorney as counsel for defendant Trump,” Kaplan wrote, referring to a Justice Department lawyer. “That is incorrect. They represent only the United States.”

 

The Justice Department tried to barge into the case in September, insisting that Trump responding to rape allegations with comments like “She’s not my type” is just one of the duties befitting of the President of the United States.

 

Carroll’s legal described that proposition as wrong and obscene the next month.

 

“There is not a single person in the United States — not the president and not anyone else — whose job description includes slandering women they sexually assaulted,” attorney Roberta Kaplan wrote last month in a blistering legal brief. “That should not be a controversial proposition. Remarkably, however, the Justice Department seeks to prove it wrong.”

11/22/2020 Trump administration exits Open Skies treaty, by Paulina Firozi, The Washington Post

In a statement in May, Joe Biden said that in announcing the intention to withdraw, Trump “doubled down on his short-sighted policy of going it alone and abandoning American leadership.”

 

“I supported the Open Skies Treaty as a Senator, because I understood that the United States and our allies would benefit from being able to observe — on short notice — what Russia and other countries in Europe were doing with their military forces,” his May statement added.

 

5/21/2020   Trump administration to withdraw from Open Skies treaty in a further erosion of arms control pacts with Russia, by John Hudson and Paul Sonne, The Washington Post

  • the United States will withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies, a nearly 30-year-old pact designed to reduce the chances of an accidental war by allowing mutual reconnaissance flights for members of the 34-country agreement.

11/24/2020   Trump administration wants to cut food stamps to thousands of seniors, lawmakers say, by BY AIMEE PICCHI, CBS News

11/24/2020   Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Plans to Put $455 Billion Beyond Yellen’s Easy Reach, by Saleha Mohsin, Bloomberg

11/26/2020    Trump flips out on reporter: 'I'm the President of the United States!'  CNN

 

 

 

  • Trump: this election was massive fraud

  • Reporter: why?

  • Trump: how come more people voted for Biden than for Obama

 

 

12/4/2020   What I Learned From My Brush With Trump, By Jorge Ramos, The New York Times

Journalists should never again allow someone to create an alternative reality in order to seize the presidency.

 

Mr. Ramos is a contributing opinion writer and an anchor for the Univision network.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is not a report. This is an assemblage of links uncovered while reading about what was called the Re-Open movement.  Let's just say the emphasis on firearms puzzled me.   At best it is a work in progress.  

Your future, as envisioned by the Billionaires who regulate the "thought processes" of your Local Libertarians:

Cowen prophesies lower-income parts of America “recreating a Mexico-like or Brazil-like environment” complete with “favelas” like those in Rio de Janeiro. The “quality of water” might not be what US citizens are used to, he admits, but “partial shantytowns” would satisfy the need for cheaper housing as “wage polarization” grows and government shrinks. Cowen says that “some version of Texas — and then some — is the future for a lot of us” and advises, “Get ready.”

 

 

11/19/2020   Pennsylvania Governor Wolf to veto bills on carrying, selling guns amid disasters, by Marc Levy, AP

10/29/2020   First the black, white & blue anti-Black Lives Matter flag flew outside of Trump rallies, then on stage, next to the US flag; in Wisconsin last week it replaced the US flag behind Trump; now the American flag, with all its complications, is just gone, & a fascist banner waves. by Jeff Sharlet

Growing dominance of "Blue Lives Matter" flag w/in Trumpism suggests a formation close to but not identical w/ both white nationalism & police state: I'll call it "police nationalism." Identity founded on fetishization of an explicitly brutal & implicitly racist idea of policing.

October 23, 2020:   Texas member of Boogaloo Bois charged with opening fire on Minneapolis police precinct during protests over George Floyd,  Andy Mannix, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Feds say Texas adherent of far-right group fired on precinct building, conspired with cop killer to ignite civil war.

October 23, 2020:   Texas ‘boogaloo’ leader charged with firing AK-47 into Minneapolis police station, by Travis Gettys, Raw Story

Federal prosecutors charged Ivan Harrison Hunter of Boerne, Texas, on riot charges for allegedly firing 13 rounds from an AK-47 into the Third Precinct building May 28, reported KARE-TV.

 

The 26-year-old Hunter had been in contact with fellow “boogaloo” extremist Steven Carillo, an active-duty Air Force sergeant who was charged with killing two law enforcement officers in California on May 29 and June 6, according to an affidavit.

 

Investigators said Hunter drove to Minneapolis in late May to participate in a riot, and they said social media posts describe his activities there and identifies himself as the leader of the Boogaloo Bois in South Texas.

Sept 4, 2020:  2 'Boogaloo Bois' charged with conspiring with terrorist organization, by Zoe Jackson, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Two members of the Boogaloo Bois, including one from Minnesota, have been indicted on federal charges of attempting to provide material support to Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization, the U.S. Justice Department announced Friday.

 

The Boogaloo Bois is a loose-knit group of anti-government extremists. The heavily armed members often mobilize on social media and have garnered more prominence and law enforcement scrutiny this year. The term “Boogaloo” refers to a second civil war in the United States and is associated with violent anti-government uprisings, according to the complaint.

July 18, 2020:  Inside Minnesota's Boogaloo movement: Armed and eager for societal collapse, by Stephen Montemayor, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Both Solomon and experts who have tracked the movement add that it was initially miscast as an offshoot of far-right white power extremism.

“Our whole thing is, we believe in freedom and absolute liberty for everyone regardless of race, creed, sex, gender, whatever; we don’t care,” Solomon said.

J.J. MacNab, a fellow at the George Washington University Program on Extremism, said the confusion can distract from the movement’s true beliefs and plans, particularly “accelerationism,” which holds that the political order can be dismantled through increased civil disorder.

 

“Just because they’re not white supremacists doesn’t mean that they aren’t antigovernment extremists wanting to take down cops and the rest of the government,” MacNab said. “What they want to do is to kill cops, to kill politicians, to start chaos so that their anarcho-capitalist world can emerge. It’s accelerationism. It’s just not white supremacist accelerationism.”

 

“This movement has been carrying out paramilitary training, amassing arms, learning paramilitary tactics, appropriating military weapons and explosives and other materials,” Belew said.

 

In Minnesota, Solomon said, Boogaloo Bois rarely gather in groups of more than 20 or 30. More common are training exercises in smaller “squads.” That’s what Solomon said is happening now in anticipation of another looming wave of unrest. Solomon predicts one or more of the four fired officers charged in Floyd’s death will escape conviction, sparking fresh chaos.

 

“Round one is going to look like a trip to Disney World, and we’re just trying to get ready for that,” Boogaloo Boy Michael Robert Solomon said.

 July 7: Boogaloo informant reveals how he helped FBI infiltrate Las Vegas group, by Jeff German, Las Vegas Review-Journal

An FBI informant told a county grand jury that he secretly wore a body camera and a microphone to record meetings with suspected members of the boogaloo movement as they plotted firebombings and scouted potential targets, transcripts obtained by the Review-Journal show.

 

It took the Clark County grand jury just three minutes later that day to deliberate and approve an indictment against Andrew Lynam, 23; Stephen Parshall, 36; and William Loomis, 40.

 

All three suspected boogaloo members were indicted on terrorism and explosives charges in an alleged scheme to cause violence at Black Lives Matter protests and firebomb a power substation and a U.S. ranger station near Lake Mead. A federal grand jury indicted the trio on related charges the same day.

June 29:  Reddit, Acting Against Hate Speech, Bans ‘The_Donald’ Subreddit, by Mike Isaac, The New York Times

Reddit, one of the largest social networking and message board websites, on Monday banned its biggest community devoted to President Trump as part of an overhaul of its hate speech policies.

 

The community or “subreddit,” called “The_Donald,” is home to more than 790,000 users who post memes, viral videos and supportive messages about Mr. Trump. Reddit executives said the group, which has been highly influential in cultivating and stoking Mr. Trump’s online base, had consistently broken its rules by allowing people to target and harass others with hate speech.

June 29:  Twitch Suspends Trump’s Channel for ‘Hateful Conduct’, by Kellen Browning, The New York Times

The site said two recent streams on Mr. Trump’s channel violated its rules. One stream was of a rebroadcasted 2015 campaign event in which Mr. Trump made comments about Mexico sending drugs, crime and rapists over the border. The other was of his recent rally in Tulsa, Okla., where he talked about a “very tough hombre” breaking into a woman’s house at 1 a.m.

 

“Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch,” a Twitch spokeswoman said in a statement. “In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed.”

 

The action appeared to be the first outright suspension of one of the president’s social media accounts.

 

BoogalooPirateOlympiaWashingronApril KarenDuceyGetty800w33pct

Olympia, Washington, ReOpen Protest, April 2020

June 29:  What Do You Do When Extremism Comes for the Hawaiian Shirt? By Nathan Taylor Pemberton, The New York Times

Worn by extremists toting assault rifles, the shirt has gone from dad symbol to battle flag.

June 29:  YouTube ​Bans Six Big White Nationalist Channels, by Jared Holt, Right Wing Watch

YouTube ​banned six accounts used by high-profile white nationalists on Monday. According to YouTube, the respective channels “repeatedly or egregiously violated our policies by alleging that members of protected groups were innately inferior to others, among other violations.”

 

The removed accounts include those ​owned by far-right political entertainer Stefan Molyneux, white nationalist outlets American Renaissance and Radix Journal, as well as longtime Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. YouTube also removed two associated channels: one belonging to alt-right poster boy Richard Spencer and another hosting American Renaissance podcasts.

 

“We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies. After updating our guidelines to better address supremacist content, we saw a 5x spike in video removals and have terminated over 25,000 channels for violating our hate speech policies,” a YouTube spokesperson ​told Right Wing Watch in an email.

 

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Fenix Ammuntion's Instagram Post, December 19, 2019

June 28:  Is Novi Michigan ammunition manufacturer Fenix Ammunition marketing to Cops and Boogaloos?!!

Selling the Boogaloo, by Ian Karbel, The Informant, 6/29/2020

In mid March, Novi, Michigan ammunition manufacturer Fenix Ammunition saw its daily online sales rise from $4,000 to $40,000.  

 

The pandemic had boosted demand for guns and ammunition around the country, and Fenix was reaping the fruits of the national following it has cultivated since its 2016 launch. In addition to record high civilian demand, Fenix also counted at least three local police departments, [Dowagiac, Berkley, Grosse Isle] and the Schoolcraft law enforcement training center among its clients.

 

But Fenix’s March profits were also driven by an aggressive social media campaign led by its owner, Justin Nazaroff.

 

For months, Nazaroff had been posting memes to his company’s Facebook and Instagram pages referencing the “boogaloo,” slang for the armed uprising that a loose assortment of preppers, Second Amendment activists, and anti-government extremists is getting ready for — and in some cases trying to accelerate.

 

“I'll be honest, it drives sales,” Nazaroff said in April of his company’s marketing practices. “People think it's funny. People click on boogaloo memes. It’s something that gun people enjoy joking about.”

 

 Boogaloo is not a true movement in the sense that there is little — if any — structure or leadership. Adherents even seem to have different visions of what a civil war would accomplish. But to the extent that there is a central idea animating the boogaloo’s largely white, right-wing supporters, it’s that armed combatants will kick off a full-fledged rebellion to topple the federal government. “They don’t have a lot of beliefs other than they really like guns, they really hate cops, and they want some sort of revolution,” said Megan Squire, a computer scientist who researches online extremism at Elon University.

 

Nazaroff said he considers himself a liberal libertarian and boogaloo “prepper.” He believes in the possibility of civil war, but like other arms dealers interviewed for this story, stressed that the memes shouldn’t be taken seriously. But Cassie Miller, a researcher with the Southern Poverty Law Center, said, “They pretend that it’s a joke. In some ways that’s to conceal just how serious and dangerous the ideas that they’re pushing are.“

TweetOfJustDjinnItReBoogs 2020 06 29

June 28:  Boogaloo Pandering and Marketing and smirking at Fascism, A Tweet, Twitter

June 26:  Records don’t match Las Vegas Councilwoman Fiore’s claims of ‘intel’ to ‘kill whites’ during protests, by Jeff German, Las Vegas Review-Journal

June 21:  If You Want to Understand White Evangelicals, Tour a Hobby Lobby Store, by Kristin Kobes du Mez, Daily Beast

The merch illustrates a cultural identity that is clearly Christian but less about loving thy neighbor and more about loving thy guns and a militant white masculine ideal.

 

Scenes of President Donald Trump proclaiming himself the “president of law and order,” urging the deployment of the military to “dominate the streets,” and then having his path violently cleared of peaceful protesters so that he could hold a Bible in an awkward photo op have resurfaced the perennial question: How can “Bible-believing” white evangelicals condone the violence, racism, and cruelty at the heart of the president and his administration?

 

The apparent disconnect between theological beliefs and political allegiances invites charges of hypocrisy, but evangelicals themselves are able to hold in tension these conflicting values because for many, evangelicalism is first and foremost a cultural identity. Being evangelical means listening to Christian radio, reading Christian books, and purchasing Christian products that express who they are and what they believe. For “family values evangelicals,” gender is at the heart of this identity, and it is through their distinctive gender ideals that evangelicals are able to reconcile their “biblical values” with their political militancy.

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June 19:  Intel report warns that far-right extremists may target Washington, D.C., by Natasha Bertrand, Politico

The Trump administration is warning law enforcement and public safety officials that a far-right extremist movement known as “boogaloo” may be setting its sights on the nation’s capital.

 

On Monday, the National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium (NTIC), a fusion center for Washington, D.C. that provides support to federal national security and law enforcement agencies, warned in an intelligence assessment that “the District is likely an attractive target for violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology due to the significant presence of US law enforcement entities, and the wide range of First Amendment-Protected events hosted here.” 

June 18:  Facebook removes Trump ads with symbol once used by Nazis to designate political prisoners, by Isaac Stanley-Becker The Washington Post

Facebook on Thursday deactivated dozens of ads placed by President Trump’s reelection campaign that included a symbol once used by the Nazis to designate political prisoners in concentration camps.

 

The marking appeared as part of the campaign’s online salvo against antifa and “far-left groups."

 

A red inverted triangle was used in the 1930s to identify Communists, and was applied as well to Social Democrats, liberals, Freemasons and other members of opposition parties incarcerated by the Nazis. The badge forced on Jewish political prisoners, by contrast, featured a yellow triangle overlaid by a red triangle so as to resemble a Star of David.

 

The red triangle appeared in paid posts sponsored by Trump and Vice President Pence, as well as by the “Team Trump” campaign page. It was featured alongside text warning of “Dangerous MOBS” and asking users to sign a petition about antifa, a loose collection of anti-fascist activists whom the Trump administration has sought to link to recent violence, despite arrest records that show their involvement is trivial.

June 18:  Facebook takes down Trump ads featuring symbol used by Nazis to mark political prisoners, by Chris Mills Rodrigo, The Hill

Facebook on Thursday took down Trump campaign ads against antifa that prominently featured a symbol used by Nazis to designate political prisoners, a spokesperson for the company confirmed to The Hill.

“We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate," Facebook said in a statement. "Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group's symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol.”

The ads featured an inverted red triangle, which was used by Nazis to identify political opponents including communists, social democrats and liberals at concentration camps.

The symbol was included in 88 ads run by pages for President Trump, Vice President Pence and "Team Trump" alongside text warning readers of “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups" and asking them to sign a petition against antifa, a loose group of radical activists that use direct action to fight against fascism.

Just the ads on Trump's page were seen as many 950,000 times before being taken down.

The Trump campaign is defending using the image, calling it a "common Antifa symbol" in a statement to The Hill.

The campaign directed The Hill toward shirts, stickers and posters on websites were users can upload whatever design they would like to.

The most common symbol used to identify antifa is a black and red flag or three arrows inside a circle.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted Thursday that "Nazis used red triangles to identify their political victims in concentration camps.

 

 

June 17:  Suspected boogaloo trio indicted twice, accused of terrorism and violence, by Jeff German, Las Vegas Review-Journal

 

 

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June 16:  Suspect in killing of 2 Bay Area officers tied to right-wing ‘boogaloo’ group, prosecutors allege, by Maura Dolan, Richard Winton and Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times

OAKLAND — When sheriff‘s deputies searched a white van on June 6 in a wooded hamlet in Santa Cruz County, they found ammunition, firearms, bomb-making equipment — and a ballistic vest with a curious patch.


The patch contained an igloo and Hawaiian-style print, markings associated with a growing, extremist, anti-government movement aimed at fomenting unrest and another civil war.

 

On Tuesday, federal law enforcement officials announced they were charging Air Force Sgt. Steven Carrillo, 32, the alleged owner of that vest, and suspected accomplice Robert A. Justus Jr., 30, of Millbrae in the May 29 shooting death of a federal security officer in Oakland.

 

Officials said Carrillo, who also faces state charges in the June 6 killing of a Santa Cruz sheriff deputy, was a follower of the “boogaloo” movement, which a federal complaint said is not a fixed group but includes people who identify themselves as militia and target perceived government tyranny.

 

The security officers were shot while guarding a federal building in downtown Oakland during a protest over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The pair used the protest as a cover for their plans to attack law enforcement, said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jack Bennett.

 

“There is no evidence that these men had any intention to join the demonstration in Oakland,” Bennett said at a Tuesday news conference. “They came to Oakland to kill cops.”

June 15:  Suspected boogaloo trio planned violence like military operation, by Jeff German, Las Vegas Review-Journal

When Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Dickinson sought to persuade a federal judge to put three suspected members of the extremist boogaloo movement behind bars, he provided plenty of ammunition.

 

A key part of the veteran prosecutor’s argument last week was how the men had plotted to stir up violence at protests and destroy federal buildings as if they were conducting military operations.

 

They talked in code, wore tactical military gear, carried weapons, possessed explosive materials and conducted reconnaissance missions, Dickinson alleged.

43:  Numeric Hate Symbols, ADL

June 15:  Conservative Hate Takes a Hit as SCOTUS Rules Sexual Orientation Covered By Civil Rights Act. 6:3, by Frances Langum, Crooks and Liars

June 12:  Pinckney protest against racism draws some racist responses, many supporters, by Jennifer Timar, Livingston Daily

She estimated that more than half of responses from motorists and people walking were positive.

 

"It's been about 40% negative, because a lot of people drive by and scream something at us. There have been Confederate flags," Williams said.

 

"This town, Brighton and Howell are known as 'sundown towns,' where black people know you aren't supposed to go out after dark."  

6/12/2020:  Trump’s ugly appeal to white voters: Pick a side, by Greg Sargent, The Washington Post

Now that President Trump plans to hold his first rally of the coronavirus era on Juneteenth — in Tulsa, the site of one of the deadliest race massacres in U.S. history — it’s instructive to recall Trump’s thinking amid another, more recent episode of deadly white racial violence.

 

After Trump uttered his “many fine people” comment in the aftermath of white-supremacist violence and murder in Charlottesville, his advisers persuaded him to offer more conciliatory remarks. But after doing so, Trump privately raged that this course change made him look “weak.”

 

You can chalk that up to Trump’s long-held dictum — never apologize for anything. Or you can chalk it up to Trump’s other long-held M.O. — stoking race war is good for Trump, and conciliation does nothing for him. Indeed, at the time, adviser Stephen K. Bannon counseled that post-Charlottesville racial strife was good politics for him.

6/11/2020:  Four Years Embedded With the Alt-Right, by Daniel Lombroso, The Atlantic

6/11/2020:  White Nationalist Richard Spencer Can’t Afford To Pay Legal Fees In ‘Unite The Right’ Case, by Michael Kunzelman, AP

“This case has been financially crippling for a long time,” said Spencer, who popularized the term “alt-right” to describe a loosely connected fringe movement of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists.

6/11/2020:  Public Map of all known monuments to the Confederacy, a google map. 

6/11/2020:  Whose Heritage: 1,747 Public Symbols of the Confederacy, by the Southern Poverty Law Center 

6/8/2020:  The Disturbing Appeal of Boogaloo Violence to Military Men, by Kelly Weill, Daily Beast

A decade ago, Stephen Parshall served in the Navy as an aviation mechanic. His four-year stateside stint earned him the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, standard fare for members of the Armed Forces supporting the sprawling conflict that began in September 2001.

 

On May 30, Parshall and two other men were arrested for allegedly plotting several attacks on protests, government facilities, and electrical infrastructure. His alleged accomplices were also current or former military members. According to prosecutors, the three were drawn together by the Boogaloo, an emerging, violent ideology that’s gaining popularity among some troops and veterans.

June 6:  Boogaloo arrests reveal new extremist agenda to hijack protests, by Jeff German, Las Vegas Review-Journal

The boogaloo arrests are the first in the country of far-right extremists accused of planning to disrupt and cause harm to Black Lives Matter protests, according to Joanna Mendelson, associate director of the Center on Extremism for the Anti-Defamation League.

June 2020:  The Prohecies of Q, by Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic

5/29/2020: When VDARE’s founder bought the 132-year-old Berkeley Springs Castle, it fueled a delicate split in the artsy mountain town, by Rachel Olding, Daily Beast

Earlier this month, VDARE was booted off Facebook for running a network of fake accounts and pages posting conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and hate speech about Asian-Americans. The group has been deplatformed and demonetized by Amazon, Google, Adsense, PayPal and MailChimp.

The group has boosted Sandy Hook conspiracy theories and published pieces defending racist manifestos written by the El Paso and Christchurch mass shooters. Brimelow said VDARE publishes some white nationalist writers but he denied he has white nationalist views himself, instead preferring the label "civic nationalist." He has filed a libel suit against The New York Times for calling him an "open white nationalist" and a "white supremacist."

5/28/2020:  Dominionist ‘Prophets’ Say Pentecost Sunday Will Bring Them More Power and Governing Authority, by Peter Montgomery, Right Wing Watch

5/28/2020:  Right-Wing ‘Race War’ Wannabes Could Make Police Protests Go Nuclear, by Kelly Weill, Daily Beast

Protesters in Minneapolis didn’t know the precise affiliation of a man who showed up on Tuesday at the first night of unrest over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in police custody. What they did know was that he was white and heavily armed.

 

“There was what we think was a white supremacist who was fully armed with clips and everything, who some of the men in the crowd were able to identify and remove,” Nekima Levy-Armstrong, a civil rights attorney who attended the Tuesday protests, told The Daily Beast. “He [the armed white man] actually said, ‘You all just saved some lives tonight.’”

 

 “On the far other side of the spectrum, you have accelerationist and dyed-in-the-wool fascists and neo-Nazis,” The Daily Beast was told. “They want to see ‘Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo’ happen, and make it a race war.”

 

“Boogaloo” is a reference to a far-right meme-turned-movement, in which white supremacists fantasize about a coming civil uprising that will lead to government overthrow and wholesale slaughter of their opponents, namely people of color. “Accelerationism” is a tactic in which extremists sow discord in the hopes of destabilizing society.

 

The Boogaloo movement has moved increasingly offline and into the real world in recent months, with members showing up at right-wing “re-open” protests, heavily armed and wearing Hawaiian shirts (a really tedious riff on a misspelling of “boogaloo” as “big luau”).

 

“We're witnessing the merging of internet troll cultures, irony cultures and the militia movement, via these online spaces,” Hughes said, adding that the movement appears to mirror a previous merger of trolls and real-life radicals “into what ultimately became the alt-right.”

5/28/2020:  Trump Spox Kayleigh McEnany Lies About Vote By Mail; She Voted By Mail Eleven Times, by John Amato, Crooks and Liars

McEnany With No Proof Claims 12% Of All Mail In Votes Are Subject To Fraud.

She cites no statistics to prove her claim, but you knew that already.

5/28/2020:  Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He'll Only Wear Mask If It Features 'Governor Blackface' And Klan Hood, by Walter Einenkel, Crooks and Liars

5/27/2020:  Man who hanged effigy of Kentucky governor fired from job, ABC News, AP

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5/27/2020:  The Boogaloo Movement Is Not What You Think, by Robert Evans and Jason Wilson, Bellingcat

The “Boogaloo Bois” expect, even hope, that the warmer weather will bring armed confrontations with law enforcement, and will build momentum towards a new civil war in the United States.

 

Mostly, they’re not even hiding it. And for the last several months, their platform of choice has been Facebook.

 

Like many other novel extremist movements, the loose network of pro-gun shitposters trace their origins to 4chan. What coherence the movement has comes from their reverence for their newly-minted martyrs and a constellation of in-jokes and memes.

 

For now, Facebook chooses to allow the Boogaloo movement to flourish on their platform.

 

Open source materials suggest that, for now, the apocalyptic, anti-government politics of the “Boogaloo Bois” are not monolithically racist/neo-Nazi. As we have observed, some members rail against police shootings of African Americans, and praise black nationalist self defense groups.

 

But the materials also demonstrate that however irony-drenched it may appear to be, this is a movement actively preparing for armed confrontation with law enforcement, and anyone else who would restrict their expansive understanding of the right to bear arms. In a divided, destabilized post-coronavirus landscape, they could well contribute to widespread violence in the streets of American cities.

5/20/2020:  Anti-Lockdown Protests Originated With Tight-Knit Group Who Share Bigger Goal: Trump 2020, by Alex Kasprak and Bethania Palma, Snopes.com

The driving force behind Michigan's anti-lockdown protests — and their connections to the family of Betsy DeVos — is even more complex than we initially thought.  

5/14/2020: Armed Right Wing Terrorists, Acting with the President's Encouragement, Shut Down the Michigan Legislature, by David Roberts, Bloomberg

5/13/2020:  The Atlantic:  The Conspiracy Theorists Are Winning, by Jeffrey Goldberg

America is losing its grip on Enlightenment values and reality itself. 

5/10/2020:   Media coverage has blown anti-lockdown protests out of proportion. By Erica Chenoweth, Lara Putnam, Tommy Leung, Jeremy Pressman, and Nathan Perkins, VOX

Recent anti-Trump rallies have been bigger than the anti-lockdown protests. Guess which ones got more media attention? 

5/6/2020:  How do you feel about the anti-lockdown protests happening across the US from the coronavirus/COVID-19? - by Savanah Gray, Quora

Look at them. After all of that bluster, after the threat of a storm, they're still just standing there and trying to hurt people. This is the apocalypse they've been dreaming of. They made books and weird pornographic comic strips about this day, right now. Their comics and fan fiction even include a pandemic almost identical to this one and here they are today:

 

Only this time, they hold dumber signs. The “what about my haircut” sign should spell this out for anyone 5 and older. How in the world can a prepper survive a pandemic when he can't bare to go another second without electronic clippers plowing through his unkempt and unwashed hair? If he can't go without a luxury, how is he going to manage foraging for food, planting so he has a chance by fall, medical care with only herbs and expired medication available, diplomacy to survive the rest of the survivors, one meal every two days, water purification, sponge baths for the sick, growing gourd vegetables for protein which are notoriously susceptible to pests without pesticides and raised planting beds, or have the wherewithal to bring his knowledge to his community to again reach our potential?

 

How is he going to get the lights back on? Can he make a candle? Can he start a fire? Can he fix a car? Can he refine fuel or build an alternative engine? He might have a gun to steal a car, but what is he going to put in the tank? Refined fuels don't last forever and we're already running out of crude oil! What chance does he have? None.

 

These guys? They can't survive without a $45 shampoo and clipper run. They can't live without getting “their hair did.” Seriously, they can't fight anyone. Why do we think they pick places for their “stand” wherever there are unarmed civilians and children? They have no intention of fighting an actual army.

5/1/2020:  Trump’s gun-toting supporters are firing blanks, by Dana Milbank, the Washington Post

At the American Patriot Rally at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., on Thursday, many of the hundreds of protesters wore red “Make America Great Again” caps or flew “Trump 2020” banners and “Build the Wall” or “Drain the Swamp” signs. Others waved the yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flags of the tea party. Demonstrators, several armed with military-style guns, then marched into the statehouse and stared down the police.

 

They didn’t seem to have a plan. They were there to rail against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s pandemic restrictions, though hers are not so different from those in other states, even those run by Republican governors. They howled about “tyranny” even though the country is now run by the man they helped elect. They fretted about losing their Second Amendment rights even as they carried guns, legally under Michigan law, into the Capitol. They complained about runaway government spending and money-printing even though Trump and the GOP have championed it.

4/30/2020:  Protesters, some armed, enter Michigan Capitol in rally against COVID-19 limits, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News 

4/24/2020:  Exploitative self-anointed “Great Men” to fill a hole in themselves, by Nick Schager, Daily Beast

In virtually every episode of Deadly Cults, the basic story remains the same: men and women, susceptible to suggestion because of some misery or discontent, turn to exploitative self-anointed “Great Men” to fill a hole in themselves.  

4/20/2020:  The tea party is back — and endangering lives, by Karen Tumlty, The Washington Post

 The tea party is back. I was wondering where they had gone.

 

You remember them, right? When Barack Obama was in office, these self-styled defenders of limited government and individual liberty took to the streets to protest federal debt, corporate bailouts, government-sponsored health care and a president who they said governed like the king our forefathers rebelled against.

 

We haven’t heard from them much in the past 3½ years. Not that they shouldn’t have found plenty of fodder for outrage: record deficits and debt; an autocrat in the White House who regularly claims extra-constitutional authority; economic policies that tilt heavily in favor of the wealthy and big business.

 

Tea party activists have looked the other way on all of these things throughout the presidency of Donald Trump. But now they are appearing again in state capitals across the country, screaming and waving their “Don’t Tread on Me” banners to vent at the lifesaving measures that governors have taken in the face of an epidemic that has already caused upward of 40,000 deaths in the United States.

 

There is a legitimate — and reasonable — debate to be had about how much economic pain the country should be willing to bear to bring the epidemic under control.

 

But that is not what we are hearing in their nihilistic fury. Some of them carry Confederate flags and assault weapons as they protest. Theirs is a doctrine fueled not by high-minded principles, but by conspiracy theories and populist resentment.

 

Tea party 2.0 is proposing a tri-cornered suicide pact: Give them liberty from stay-at-home orders and give them death. And while they are at it, endanger the lives of everyone around them as well.

 

The sheer irresponsibility of gathering hundreds of people together for these protests at this moment is hard to fathom. If some of them pick up the novel coronavirus as a result of it, the price will be paid by overburdened health-care workers and by unsuspecting people with whom they come into contact.

 

It is perhaps overstating things to describe these protesters as a movement. Even as tens of millions are filing applications for unemployment compensation, polls show the vast majority of Americans want restrictive measures to remain in place to fight the virus.

 

Two-thirds of respondents in a poll that Pew Research Center released last week said they were more concerned that states would move too quickly to lift the measures, as opposed to only 32 percent who said they feared it would not happen fast enough. In an April 8 Quinnipiac University poll, 81 percent said they would support a national stay-at-home order, rather than leaving it up to the discretion of the states.

 

The Quinnipiac survey also showed that nearly three-quarters approve of their governors’ handling of the crisis; by comparison, only 46 percent felt positive about Trump’s performance.

 

But while the protesters are not representative of how most Americans view the difficult choices that their local leaders are making, they are getting a powerful signal boost from right-wing media and the president.

 

It does not seem to matter to Trump that his call to “liberate” Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia (all of which, not coincidentally, have Democratic governors and are potential battlegrounds in the fall election) flies in the face of guidelines that his own administration has issued with regard to when and how it will be safe for states to begin returning to normal life.

 

As Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) put it Sunday on CNN: “The president’s policy says you can’t start to reopen under his plan until you have declining numbers for 14 days, which those states and my state do not have. So, then to encourage people to go protest the plan that you just made recommendations on, on Thursday, it just doesn’t make any sense.”

 

Then again, coherence has not exactly been the hallmark of Trump’s response to the coronavirus. Scapegoating, blame-shifting and fomenting civil unrest are a smokescreen behind which the president can evade hard questions, such as why the capacity to test for coronavirus infection is still inadequate to what will be needed before states can start lifting their restrictions.

 

By encouraging the shortsighted demands of a loud but small slice of his base, the president is playing a dangerous game — one that Americans could end up paying for with their lives.

4/21/2020:  The protesters aren’t the only ones on the wrong side of lockdowns, by Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post: 

4/19/2020:  Tea Party president calls off local protest plans after threats of arrest, by Lori Comstock, New Jersey Herald

4/19/2020:  Pro-gun activists using Facebook groups to push anti-quarantine protests, by Isaac Stanley-Becker and Tony Romm, The Washington Post

The Dorr brothers manage a slew of pro-gun groups across a wide range of states, from Iowa to Minnesota to New York, and seek primarily to discredit organizations like the National Rifle Association as being too compromising on gun safety. Minnesota Gun Rights, for instance, describes itself as the state’s “no-compromise gun rights organization.”

 

“Wisconsinites Against Excessive Quarantine” was created on Wednesday by Ben Dorr. His brother Christopher is the creator of “Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine,” as well as “Ohioans Against Excessive Quarantine.” A third brother, Aaron, is the creator of “New Yorkers Against Excessive Quarantine.”

 

Zachary Elwood, a former professional poker player and now a Portland, Ore.-based writer for software companies who blogs about disinformation and tracked some of the activity by the Dorr brothers, urged Facebook to crack down on small clusters of users coordinating seemingly disparate activity, especially when the activity involves harmful untruths.

 

“It’s understandable that people are upset about the difficult situation we’re in, but they’re clearly being riled up by people with an obvious anti-government agenda,” Elwood said. “Facebook shouldn’t make it so easy to do that.”

4/16/2020:  Why Fox News and Republicans are promoting a social distancing backlash, by Paul Waldman, Washington Post 

 

LansingMiReopenMichiganUnitedForLiberty April JeffKowalsky AgenceFrance Presse900w600h33pct Lansing, Michigan; April 15, 2020 Gridlock/ReOpen Protest.

4/16/2020:  ‘You Have to Disobey’: Protesters Gather to Defy Stay-at-Home Orders, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Jeremy W. Peters, The New York Times

The rallies reflected both economic frustrations and political divides. At recent rallies in Ohio, New York and Michigan, many organizers and demonstrators, some who came armed, were aligned with anti-government activists on the right and libertarian groups. Some had affiliations with the Tea Party and displayed the “Don’t Tread on Me” logo that was an unofficial slogan for the movement. At least one protester in Michigan waved a Confederate flag with the image of a gun. Others waved banners in support of Mr. Trump and protested Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who has been a target of Mr. Trump’s ire, by chanting, “Lock her up.”  

4/4/2020:  Jacksonville company offering machines to sterilize medical face masks, by Teresa Stepzinski, FHN

Michael Murphy never envisioned the coronavirus pandemic when he bought a pair of brand new industrial sterilization machines for Eco Relics, his Jacksonville business.

 

Murphy hopes a local hospital might want to rent the machines, which he says can safely and easily be adapted to sterilize n95 face masks needed by doctors, nurses and other health care professionals as well as first responders treating virus patients.

 

Murphy said he wants to lease the units — which cost $139,000 each.

 

Because Eco Relics has been hard hit economically by the coronavirus pandemic, Murphy said he just can’t afford to donate the units. 

3/2/2020:  The Second Amendment ‘sanctuary’ movement has arrived in NJ, by Ximena Conde, WHYY PBS radio

Last week, Finnical successfully lobbied Cumberland County Freeholders to pass a resolution in support of the Second Amendment. Cumberland County is the sixth in the state to do so and joins 30 other townships in what is a purely symbolic gesture in New Jersey — for now. People like Finnical, who had previously remained out of the gun discussion, want to pass resolutions in all 21 counties as a rebuttal to some of the strictest gun regulations in the country.

2/27/2020:  White Nationalist Site Thanks Fox's Tucker Carlson for Primetime Shoutout, PayPal Conspiracy Theory, by Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

2/1/2020:  Fully Armed Rally-Goers Enter Kentucky’s Capitol Building With Zero Resistance, by Peter Wade, Rolling Stone

“I’m not a Kentucky resident... I’m a complete stranger. I walked in [and security acted like] ‘Cool, come on in. Enjoy the capitol,’” one of the gun-toting men said 

1/20/2020:  Pro-gun rally by thousands in Virginia ends peacefully, by Alan Suderman and Sarah Rankin, Associated Press

“I love this. This is like the Super Bowl for the Second Amendment right here,” said P.J. Hudson, a truck driver from Richmond who carried an AR-15 rifle just outside Capitol Square. He was one of the few African-American rally-goers in a crowd that was overwhelmingly white and male, and was frequently stopped and asked to pose for pictures wearing his “Black Guns Matter” sweatshirt.

 

On Monday, Southern Poverty Law Center staff members attended the rally and identified members of extremist militia groups, including the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, as well as the League of the South, according to outreach director Lecia Brooks. The League of the South, which the center designates a hate group, advocates for Southern secession.

 

In contrast to Charlottesville, there was little sign of counterprotesters challenging the gun-rights activists.

 

Monday’s rally was organized by an influential grassroots gun-rights group, the Virginia Citizens Defense League. The group holds a yearly rally at the Capitol, typically a low-key event with a few hundred gun enthusiasts listening to speeches from a handful of Republican lawmakers. But this year’s event was unprecedented. Second Amendment groups have identified the state as a rallying point for the fight against what they see as a national erosion of gun rights.

8/27/2019:  YouTube Shutters Several White Nationalist Accounts, by Jared Holt, Right Wing Watch

8/10/2019:  Charlottesville’s Confederate statues still stand — and still symbolize a racist legacy, by Paul Duggan

Two years ago, when white supremacists descended on Charlottesville, organizers of the Unite the Right rally said they were defending a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which the city planned to remove from a public park.

 

The deadly street violence and outpouring of racist and anti-Semitic venom on Aug. 11 and 12, 2017, continue to haunt the national psyche.

7/15/2019:  Neo-Nazi gets second life sentence in murder of protester in Virginia, by Gary Robertson, Reuters

Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Richard Moore sentenced James Fields, 22, to life plus 419 years, as recommended by the jury that found him guilty last December of murder plus eight counts of malicious wounding and a hit-and-run offense.

 

Fields, a resident of Maumee, Ohio, who appeared in court on Monday in striped prison garb, had already received a separate life sentence without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty in March to federal hate-crime charges stemming from the violence in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017.

6/11/2019:  Young Americans for Liberty ‘Officer’ Identified as Member of Identity Evropa, by Jared Holt, Right Wing Watch

5/22/2019:  Leaked Proud Boys Chats Show Members Plotting Violence At Rallies, by Andy Campbell, HuffPost

The extremist gang claims it’s just a pro-Trump “drinking club.” But chat logs leaked to HuffPost reveal they plan weaponry and tactics months ahead. 

4/24/2019:  Infowars is Working to Sanitize the White Nationalist Group Formerly Known as Identity Evropa, by Jared Holt, 4/24/2019

Identity Evropa is the former name of the U.S.-based white nationalist group involved in the 2017 gathering of right-wing groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, that ended in murder and mayhem. Nathan Damigo, the group’s founder, is named in a federal civil lawsuit regarding the violence that occurred on the streets of the historic college town when white supremacist groups of all stripes met there on August 12, 2017, for a rally they called Unite the Right. As it did under its Identity Evropa moniker, the group aims to recruit college-aged white men to its ranks, constructing its messaging to resemble that of the European identitarian movement, with hopes that lofty allusions to European heritage and personal identity will act as a lure for its white nationalist movement organizing.

4/18/2019:  Here’s Everything The Mueller Report Says About How Russian Trolls Used Social Media, by Ryan Broderick, BuzzFeed News

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign provides one of the most detailed looks at how Russia’s Internet Research Agency — the infamous Kremlin-linked troll farm — tried to hijack the 2016 election and swing the vote in favor of Donald Trump.

 

The report, which concludes that Trump didn’t commit a crime but “also does not exonerate him [of obstruction],” gives us a clear and exhaustive look at the scope, focus, and results of the IRA’s efforts. The agency learned how to use platforms like Facebook and Twitter over the span of four years. By the end, it used analytical tools and the built-in network effect of massive social media platforms to create large artificial grassroots political organizations that were aggressively targeting both Republicans and Democrats.

4/12/2019:   Religious Right Activist Allegedly Named in Leaked White Nationalist Chatroom, by Jared Holt, Right Wing Watch

Yesterday, researchers at a site called “Panic in the Discord” published an article identifying an account in Identity Evropa’s leaked communications, a young man from Texas who turned up in Identity Evropa’s chat leaks using his real name, and noted that he claims elsewhere to be an activist in the Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) network. Hiss byline appears on the TFP Student Action website.

 

TFP is a right-wing Catholic group that can often be spotted at Religious Right events donning ornate caps and crimson capes. It is a vehemently anti-LGBTQ group that has encouraged Catholic colleges to disband organizations that “favor the homosexual agenda” and argued that debates about marriage equality are really about socialism.

 

Hannah Gais, a freelance writer and graduate student at Harvard Divinity School, told Right Wing Watch that although groups like TFP and Identity Evropa may not formally affiliate with one another, that they do share some of the same concerns and objectives—particularly concerning birthrates and immigration.

1/3/2019:  Identity Evropa Founder Nathan Damigo Files for Bankruptcy, by Jared Holt, Right Wing Watch 

2018:  Kathleen Belew:  Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramiltary America, Harvard University Press, 2018

10/29/2018:  Trump Is the Glue That Binds the Far Right, by J. M. Berger, The Atlantic

8/28/2018:  Trump’s Caravan Hysteria Led to This, by Adam Serwer, The Atlantic

Nevertheless, some took the claims of the president and his allies seriously. On Saturday morning, Shabbat, a gunman walked into the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed 11 people. The massacre capped off a week of terrorism, in which one man mailed bombs to nearly a dozen Trump critics and another killed two black people in a grocery store after failing to force his way into a black church.

 

Before committing the Tree of Life massacre, the shooter, who blamed Jews for the caravan of “invaders” and who raged about it on social media, made it clear that he was furious at hias, founded as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a Jewish group that helps resettle refugees in the United States. He shared posts on Gab, a social-media site popular with the alt-right, expressing alarm at the sight of “massive human caravans of young men from Honduras and El Salvador invading America thru our unsecured southern border.” And then he wrote, “hias likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

 

The apparent spark for the worst anti-Semitic massacre in American history was a racist hoax inflamed by a U.S. president seeking to help his party win a midterm election. There is no political gesture, no public statement, and no alteration in rhetoric or behavior that will change this fact. The shooter might have found a different reason to act on a different day. But he chose to act on Saturday, and he apparently chose to act in response to a political fiction that the president himself chose to spread and that his followers chose to amplify.

 

As for those who aided the president in his propaganda campaign, who enabled him to prey on racist fears to fabricate a national emergency, who said to themselves, “This is the play”? Every single one of them bears some responsibility for what followed. Their condemnations of anti-Semitism are meaningless. Their thoughts and prayers are worthless. Their condolences are irrelevant. They can never undo what they have done, and what they have done will never be forgotten.

8/26/2018:  A President Who Condones Political Violence, by David Frum, The Atlantic

Trump’s statements over the past 48 hours reveal a president willing to breach a core rule of democracy.

8/24/2018:  YouTube Axes White Nationalist Group, by Jared Holt, Right Wing Watch

The far-right white identitarian group Identity Evropa announced yesterday that its YouTube account had been suspended for “multiple or severe violations” of the site’s community guidelines on hate speech.

8/23/2018:  Trump’s White-Nationalist Pipeline, by Vann R. Newkirk II, The Atlantic

The most enduring scandal in and around the White House might not be corruption, but rather the administration’s constant embrace of bigotry from white-supremacist and far-right groups.  What is clear is that the Trump administration and its wing of the Republican Party are the chief launderers of white-supremacist and white-nationalist ideas in America today.

8/12/2018:  

8/10/2018:  The White Nationalists Are Winning, by Adam Serwer, The Atlantic

Fox News anchors and high-profile politicians are now openly pushing the racism of the alt-right. The fringe movement’s messages have permeated the mainstream Republican Party.  As long as the president believes racist demagoguery plays to his advantage, he will not retreat from it, and neither will his most loyal acolytes.

8/3/2018:  The Lasting Trauma of Alex Jones's Lies, by Megan Garber, The Atlantic

7/3/2018:  A short history of Alex Jones claiming that the left is about to start a second Civil War, by Abby Ohlheiser, Washington Post

Alex Jones named his website Infowars. Its slogan is, “There’s a war on for your mind!” His central, long-running thesis? That he and his conspiracy-believing followers are at war, or on the verge of war, with the “deep state,” liberals and the mainstream media. 

5/10/2018:  Grifter or Grafter: A new parlor game that explains Trumpworld, by Jacob Weisberg, Slate

5/8/2018:  Nick Fuentes Denies Being A White Nationalist By Explaining That He’s A White Nationalist, by Jared Holt,

Podcaster Nick Fuentes didn’t like that we described him as a “white nationalist” in an article we published last week and so he went on a white nationalist podcast alongside well-known white nationalist Richard Spencer, where he claimed that we were wrong to call him a white nationalist because he doesn’t self-identify as one, before conceding that “it might be descriptive” to call someone like him a white nationalist.

3/1/2008:  Profiles of 20 Nativist Leaders, Southern Poverty Law Center

This report was compiled by Heidi Beirich, Susy Buchanan, David Holthouse, Brentin Mock and Casey Sanchez.

Another generation of anti-immigrant activists joins the increasingly virulent nativist movement

They're 25 to 81 years old. Their homes are scattered from California to Connecticut. Their occupations include auto dealer, Web designer, Baptist preacher, documentary filmmaker and full-time border vigilante. They agitate on behalf of policies ranging from mining the U.S.-Mexico border and placing government sniper teams in the desert to the forced sterilization of Mexican women and the immediate deportation of all Latino immigrants and Muslims, regardless of legal status or citizenship.

 

 

 

December, 2017:  The Making of an American Nazi, by Luke O'Brien, The Atlantic

How did Andrew Anglin go from being an antiracist vegan to the alt-right’s most vicious troll and propagandist—and how might he be stopped?

 

“White Sharia” was one of the phrases members of the alt-right shouted in Charlottesville in August. It was what James Alex Fields Jr. chanted before he drove his car into the crowd of antiracist protesters and was charged with the murder of Heather Heyer.

 

Anglin was triumphant—here was his vision for the Whitefish march, come to fruition. He’d done as much as anyone to promote the rally, turning his site into a key organizing hub. “The Alt-Right has risen. There is no going back from this,” he wrote. “This was our Beer Hall Putsch.” And when Trump again refused to denounce the white nationalists, Anglin exulted. “No condemnation at all,” he wrote. “Really, really good. God bless him.”

11/22/2017:  Donald Trump’s Eternal Feud With Blackness, by Vann R. Newkirk II, The Atlantic

In a presidency defined by its unpredictability, one of the few constants is the president’s eagerness to attack black people for failing to show deference.

7/19/2017:  In the great ‘meme wars,’ Alex Jones doesn’t care if he makes them or is them, by Abby Ohlheiser,  The Washington Post

6/4/2017:  The Myth of the Kindly General Lee, by Adam Serwer, The Atlantic

The white supremacists who have protested on Lee’s behalf are not betraying his legacy. In fact, they have every reason to admire him. Lee, whose devotion to white supremacy outshone his loyalty to his country, is the embodiment of everything they stand for. Tribe and race over country is the core of white nationalism, and racists can embrace Lee in good conscience.

 

The question is why anyone else would.

June 2017:  His Kampf, Richard Spencer is a troll and an icon for white supremacists. He was also my high-school classmate. by Graeme Wood, The Atlantic

Spencer wasn’t exactly defending Christianity; he said that he, like Hitchens, was an atheist. But he longed for something as robust and binding as Christianity had once been in the West, before churches surrendered their power to folk-singing liberals and televangelists.

 

I think Spencer knew he had me at a loss, because he curled out a smile and let his point hang in the air. I was flummoxed by his argument, a more thoughtful Nietzschean critique than I was prepared to take on—and by the unnerving fact that the kid who’d once cribbed my chemistry notes now had something to say.

4/13/2017:  RNC 2016 Shows Off White Nationalist Tweet, by Gideo Resnick, Daily Beast

5/30/2013:  A Guide to the Very Best Radical Separatists in America, by Arit John, The Atlantic

2/19/2013:  Was Hatchet Wielder An Insane Clown Posse Fan? - ADL 

 

REMEMBERING THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING

By  April 18, 2015

 

This article is dedicated to the many victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, and to the reportorial genius of James Ridgeway

IREHR.ORG:  Twenty years ago, on April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh, an Army veteran of the first Iraq War, drove a rental truck packed with explosive fertilizer from a small park in central Kansas to Oklahoma City. At about 9:00 a.m., he parked it on the street outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He lit the bomb and walked away to his car, parked safely nearby. The bomb went off minutes later, killing 168 people, including 19 children in the daycare center. A total of 500 were injured. The bombing in Oklahoma City was the worst incident of its kind on United States soil until September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. And in the immediate aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, one response was a search for “Middle Eastern terrorists” thought to be the bombers.

 

wikipedia:   Oklahoma City bombing, April 19th, 1995

On codewords:  

 

McVeigh carried with him an envelope containing pages from The Turner Diaries – a fictional account of white supremacists who ignite a revolution by blowing up the FBI headquarters at 9:15 one morning using a truck bomb.[24] McVeigh wore a printed T-shirt with the motto of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Sic semper tyrannis ("Thus always to tyrants", according to legend what Brutus said as he assassinated Julius Caesar, also shouted by John Wilkes Booth immediately after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln) and "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants" (from Thomas Jefferson).[34] He also carried an envelope full of revolutionary materials that included a bumper sticker with the Thomas Jefferson slogan, "When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Underneath, McVeigh had written, "Maybe now, there will be liberty!" with a hand-copied quote by John Locke asserting that a man has a right to kill someone who takes away his liberty.[24][61]

1/9/2014:  Retired FBI Agent: My Encounters With Infamous Militia Figure 'Mark From Michigan', by Greg Stejskal, Deadline Detroit 

With Orange Hair

 

When I arrived at Barry County Sheriff’s Office, there sat Mark Koernke with orange hair and no mustache. I greeted Mark by name, but he acted like he didn’t know me and was talking in a terrible Irish brogue and said his name was Michael Kerns.

 

I told him that I needed to ask him a few questions, but first I had to advise him of his rights. After advising him, I passed him the acknowledgement form and asked him to sign it which he did. I looked at the form and asked him if he realized he had signed the form “Mark Koernke.” He looked totally crest fallen.

Wikipedia:  Mark Koernke 

June 7, 2002: [Texas Senator] John Cornyn, George Wallace, and Me, by Tim Shorrock, The Texas Observer

“With the continuing concentration of power in the hands of the inept Democratic and Republican parties, it is time for a change,” Cornyn wrote in our student newspaper just before the 1968 presidential election. “Cast your vote for a strong America. Vote for George C. Wallace on November 5.”

4/29/1995:  TERROR IN OKLAHOMA; Rightist Leader Is Off the Radio, NYT, AP

 

American Firearms Coalition - Ben Dorr and the Board of Directors

Copyright © 2020 American Firearms Coalition.
6031 E Main St., STE 311, Columbus, OH 43213
(614) 434-6094

Want to mail-in your membership? Click here to print a mail-in membership form.

The American Firearms Coalition is a nonprofit organization registered in the state of Ohio. While contributions are limitless, they are not tax-deductible.

  

 

dorrbrotherscams.com  Exposing the Dorr Brother Scams

24 "Organizations;" 11 States; One Family

Right Wing Watch 

 

 

 

this is a work in progress. 

 

 NursesDealWithDrunkDruggedCombativePatients

 

True Peace is the presence of justice - Martin Luther King (This image was uncredited. It looks like Barbara Kruger's work.)

Martin Luther King Jr, Letter From a Birmingham Jail, 1963:

“First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action;" who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."

Defense Secretary Donald J. Rumsfeld (R): "Looting is transition to freedom." April 11, 2003

"While no one condones looting, on the other hand, one can understand the pent-up feelings that may result from decades of repression and people who have had members of their family killed by that regime, for them to be taking their feelings out on that regime," he said. "And I don't think there's anyone in any of those pictures ... (who wouldn't) accept it as part of the price of getting from a repressed regime to 

freedom." 

GQ:   Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s Closest Adviser, Just Wants to See the World Burn, by Jack Moore, 1/30/2017

AndrewJackson Stop the Runaway

May 1, 2017:  Hunting down runaway slaves: The cruel ads of Andrew Jackson and ‘the master class’ by DeNeen L. Brown, The Washington Post

“Stop the Runaway,” Andrew Jackson urged in an ad placed in the Tennessee Gazette in October 1804. The future president gave a detailed description: A “Mulatto Man Slave, about thirty years old, six feet and an inch high, stout made and active, talks sensible, stoops in his walk, and has a remarkable large foot, broad across the root of the toes — will pass for a free man....”

 

Jackson, who would become the country’s seventh commander in chief in 1829, promised anyone who captured this “Mulatto Man Slave” a reward of $50, plus “reasonable” expenses paid.

 

Jackson added a line that some historians find particularly cruel.

 

It offered “ten dollars extra, for every hundred lashes any person will give him, to the amount of three hundred.”


The ad was signed, “ANDREW JACKSON, Near Nashville, State of Tennessee.”

Huffpost:  In 2014 Fox News Video, Trump Touts ‘Disaster’ As A Way To Make America Great Again, by Mary Papenfuss, 1/24/2019

““A lot of people live better without having a job, than with having a job. I’ve had it where you have people and you want to hire them, but they can’t take the job for a period of nine months because they’re doing better now than they would with a job.”

 

“You know what solves it? When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell, and everything is a disaster, then you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be, when we were great.”

 

- Trump, speaking on “Fox & Friends,” 2014. 

May 24:  Detroit neighborhood group sees gentrification as the enemy, by John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press

May 25: Cop’s Knee Was on George Floyd’s Neck for Almost 9 Minutes, by Pilar Melendez, 5/29/2020

May 26:  Washtenaw sheriff opens internal investigation after video shows deputy punching woman, by Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press

May 27:  Officer Involved in George Floyd’s Death Beat Up Unarmed, Handcuffed Black Man in 2014, by Pilar Melendez, 5/27/2020

In 2017, Thao and another officer were sued by Lamar Ferguson, 26, after Ferguson alleged the two officers used excessive force during an Oct. 7, 2014 arrest. According to the lawsuit obtained by The Daily Beast, Ferguson said the officers “punch[ed], kick[ed], and kn[eed]” him “to the face and body” while he was handcuffed. The incident was so violent he suffered “broken teeth as well as other bruising and trauma.”

 

“Facedown on the ground and handcuffed, Officer Thao pulled [Ferguson’s] head up by grabbing the back of his hooded sweatshirt,” the lawsuit stated, while the other officer kicked him in the mouth.

May 28:  EXCLUSIVE: A new start turns to a tragic end for George Floyd, who moved to Minneapolis determined to turn his life around after being released from prison in Texas, Daily Mail

May 29: No Peace.  ‘Looting, Fire, Whatever It Takes’: Two Dead After Chaos Surges Across the Country, by Rachel Olding, Solomon Gustavo, Matt Taylor, Daily Beast

Hours after a former Minneapolis cop was charged with murder in the death of George Floyd, protests exploded in major cities across the country on Friday night, with at least two people shot dead, police vehicles set ablaze, windows smashed in, and protesters attempting to storm buildings.

 

Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Dallas, Richmond, Detroit, Fort Wayne, Brooklyn, Washington, Omaha, Denver, Des Moines... In city after city, chanting crowds unleashed anger—and police responded with teargas and pepper spray.

May 29:  Daily Beast:   Minneapolis Man: Cop Who Kneeled on George Floyd ‘Tried to Kill Me’ in 2008, by Pilar Melendez

In 2008, Derek Chauvin barged into Ira Toles’ home while responding to a domestic-violence call and shot him at close range, leaving him with a permanent hole in his stomach. 

May 29:  Twitter Places Warning on a Trump Tweet, Saying It Glorified Violence 

May 30:  Police, protesters clash in Detroit; 21-year-old dead after shooting, by Darcie Moran, Angie Jackson, Joe Guillen and Branden Hunter, Detroit Free Press

May 31:  Minnesota prosecutor’s charges might lead to an unjustly easy sentence for George Floyd’s killer, by Laurewnce H. Tribe and Albert Turner Goins, 5/31/2020

May 31: Santa Monica, Brianna Sacks: A small, peaceful demonstration.   

May 31: Tulsa, Oklahoma: The Race Massacre of 1921

May 31:  Hundreds peacefully rally in Ferndale, MI to oppose police brutality, by Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press

May 31:  Grand Rapids mayor declares state of civil emergency, enacts curfew for 2 nights, by Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press

"What happened in our city last night is beyond heartbreaking and is unacceptable. Violence, chaos and destruction have no place in our city. This does not represent who we are."

 

Damages from Saturday night's demonstration include seven vehicle fires, fire set to three unspecified structures and 100 businesses affected, according to officials. No injuries to residents or officers were reported.

May 31:  6 demonstrators arrested in Grand Rapids for violating curfew, by Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press

May 31:  Third day of protests in Detroit against police brutality continue after city sets curfew, Ryan Garza, et al, Detroit Free Press

141 Photographs

May 31:  'Let's walk': Genesee County Sheriff removes riot gear, joins protesters in march, by Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press

May 31:  My friend lost her eye. Permanently. She's a photojournalist and she was targeted by police. They shot her in the face with a rubber bullet. Doctors couldn't fix it.  by Chad Loder

Chilean Protester Eye Damage

"It's Mutilation":  The Police in Chile are Blinding Protestors

A Bullet to the Eye Is the Price of Protesting in Chile
A bandaged eye is now so common among people protesting inequality in Chile that it has become a rallying symbol.

 

June 1:  After curfew, Detroit police act aggressively to disperse protesters who refused to leave, by Mark Kurlyandchik, Darcie Moran, Jeff Seidel, M.L. Elrick, Frank Witsil and Branden Hunter, The Detroit Free Press

June 1:  Windows smashed in building housing governor's office during Lansing protests, by Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

Whitmer spoke of the exhaustion blacks must feel from fearing their loved ones could be killed during a traffic stop or as a result of a false allegation made to police. She called the killing of Floyd "wrong, infuriating, devastating, gut-wrenching."

 

"I'm angry, not at the peaceful demonstrators who largely convened thoughtfully, with the conviction of their cause," Whitmer said.

 

"I'm angry at the people who are abusing this pain to further their own agendas — those that came into communities of color under the guise of support but who instigate violence and vandalism.

 

"They'll leave the community they say they are supporting. They'll go home and it will be black businesses and communities that will be destroyed in their wake."

June 1:  Journalists at times targeted by police during protests in Detroit, by Peter Bhatia, Detroit Free Press

Around 10:30 Saturday night, near the corner of Michigan Avenue and Third Street, a Detroit police officer chased down Free Press reporter JC Reindl and pepper-sprayed him in the face. Reindl was holding up his Free Press ID to show he was working press.

 

While Reindl had moved away from the prime area of confrontation between Detroit officers and protesters, the officer made a point of following him. Reindl later posted on Twitter the moment he was sprayed and received calls of apology from DPD public information officer Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood and Mayor Duggan’s chief of staff Alexis Wiley. Reindl declined medical treatment and is fine.

Public Enemy:  Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos

June 1:  New Zealand: A Human River of Love

June 1:  A President's explosive rhetoric is working.  U.S. police have attacked journalists more than 100 times in the past four days.

June 1:  "Now they're shooting white people in the back. wtf?"  

June 1:  Homicide: Medical examiner and family-commissioned autopsy agree: George Floyd's death was a homicide, by Lorenzo Reyes, Trevor Hughes and Mark Emmert, 6/1/2020 

June 1:  ‘Let’s start a riot’: Downstate Illinois white trash extremist hit with federal charge related to rioting in Chicago, by Jon Seidel and Frank Main, Chicago Sun-Times.

Nationwide, officials have seen a surge of social media accounts with fewer than 200 followers created in the last month, a textbook sign of a disinformation effort.

 

The accounts have posted graphic images of the protests, material on police brutality and on the coronavirus pandemic that appear designed to inflame tensions across the political divide, according to three federal officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss investigations.

 

The investigations are an attempt to identify the network of forces behind some of the most widespread outbreaks of civil unrest in the U.S. in decades. Protests erupted in dozens of cities in recent days, triggered by the death of Floyd, who died after he was pinned at the neck by a white Minneapolis police officer’s knee. 

June 1:  MAGA life coach declares that he and millions of other gun-loving Americans are just waiting until Trump "gives us the green light" to take to the streets and start gunning down protesters, Right Wing Watch.   

June 1:  White Gun Nut invades a Chicago protest strapped with a semi automatic rifle, dressed in his shiny new, starched and spit shiny tactical panties, in a non-open carry state, and Cops let him walk away, by Sanjana Varghese, The Independent.

June 1:  The Law-Enforcement Abuses That Don’t Bother Trump, by Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes, The Atlantic

The president believes that those who oppose him should be punished, but that those who support him should be free to do as they please.  

To the extent that Trump has weighed in about the police’s behavior at all, it has been only to encourage officers to be more violent.  

As far as he is concerned, misconduct appears only when the law enforcement in question is directed at him.

 

A much-quoted aphorism attributed to onetime Peruvian President Óscar Benavides sums up this approach: “For my friends, everything; for my enemies, the law.”

June 1:  As Trump Calls Protesters ‘Terrorists,’ Tear Gas Clears a Path for His Walk to a Church, by Katie Rogers, Jonathant Martin and Maggie Haberman, The New York Times 

June 1:  Inside the push to tear-gas protesters ahead of a Trump photo op, by Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Rebecca Tan, Washington Post 

“We long ago lost sight of normal, but this was a singularly immoral act,” said Brendan Buck, a longtime former Hill aide who is now a Republican operative. “The president used force against American citizens, not to protect property, but to soothe his own insecurities. We will all move on to the next outrage, but this was a true abuse of power and should not be forgotten.”

June 1:  America is an object of outrage and pity.  

 

GettingDonaldToTheChurchOnTime 2020 06 02 904x662 50pct

June 2:  Ahead of Trump Bible photo op, police forcibly expel priest from St. John’s church near White House, by Jack Jenkins, Religious News Service

St. Johns Episcopal Church was, in fact, abandoned, but not by choice: Less than an hour before Trump’s arrival, armored police used tear gas to clear hundreds of peaceful demonstrators from Lafayette Square park, which is across the street from the church.

 

Authorities also expelled at least one Episcopal priest and a seminarian from the church’s patio.

June 2:   Washington D.C. Catholic Archbishop Slams Saint John Paul II shrine for allowing Trump Visit the day after he had soldiers tear gas their way to the front of St. Paul's Episcopal church. by Tracy Connor, Daily Beast

June 2:  Barr Personally Ordered Police to Clear Protesters for Trump’s D.C. Church Photo Op, by Lateshia Beachum, John Wagner, Brittany Shammas, Marisa Iati, Ben Guarino, Meryl Kornfield and Felicia Sonmez, The Washington Post

June 2:  D.C. Police Charged Demonstrators With Wearing Masks Even Though Coronavirus Guidelines Require Them, Blake Montgomery, Daily Beast

Protesters were charged with “Wearing a Hood-Mask” in addition to curfew violations. The Washington arrests come after police tear gassed protesters so that President Donald Trump could take a photo in front of St. John’s church near the White House.

June 2:  Minneapolis police union chief: George Floyd had ‘violent criminal history’, by Kate Sheehy, New York Post

June 2:  Bar Owner Who Killed Black Man James Scurlock on protest night in Omaha Evicted, by Tracy Connor, Daily Beast 

June 2:  Confederate Monuments Are Now Coming Down All Over the South, by Pilar Melendez, Daily Beast

“[Birmingham's Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument] used to be a sore. It’s cancer. It’s eating away at the community,” Jefferson County Commissioner Sheila Tyson said Monday during a press conference demanding its removal, adding that it represented hundreds of years of torment. “We cannot grow, we cannot expand with this monster wings over us, choking us, and it’s got to leave.”

 June 2:  What is antifa? By Amber Phillips, The Washington Post

President Trump is blaming the far-left network known as antifa for the looting and rioting that has arisen during anti-police-brutality protests in cities across the nation over the past several nights. Trump has said he’ll label the movement a terrorist organization, though he legally cannot do that.

 

Experts who have studied antifa say there is no evidence that the fringe, amorphous group is driving nationwide protests, and Trump hasn’t cited any as he accuses them of doing so. Some experts worry Trump is conflating antifa with peaceful protesters in a dangerous way.

 Antifa is short for antifascists. It’s pronounced “an-TEE-fuh.”

 

Think of them as radical anti-racists who want to take matters into their own hands to try to stop white supremacy, said Mark Bray, a historian at Rutgers University and author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.” The difference between them and a normal opponent of these things is that antifascists don’t trust government or police to efficiently bat down white supremacy and fascism. There’s a suspicion among antifa that police and a capitalist society are actually supportive of these ideals. So from there stems the notion of taking matters into their own hands, which lends an air of militancy to their mission.

 

Antifa tend to lump the far right, which contains groups focused on white supremacy and fascism, into one threat, said Seth Jones, a counterterrorism expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

 

They spend most of their time not fighting or protesting, but rather tracking what neo-Nazis in their communities are doing and outing them to employees and neighbors.

 

“Most of what they do is really painstaking and boring and really awful, monitoring these neo-Nazi message boards,” Bray said, writing in his book that they sometimes plan to infiltrate neo-Nazi groups and bring them down from the inside. “One of the interview subjects of my book likened it to being a private investigator.”

 

Hate crime experts say far more were killed by white supremacists last year than any other domestic organization. And LaFree’s database shows across the world, including in the United States, left-wing terrorist organizations are noticeably less violent than right-wing ones.

June 2:  D.C. Cop's sucker punch broadcast live to Australia and around the world

Remember the video of yesterday's Teargassing For Christ?  Trump's stroll through the vomit trails left by teargassed, terrified, legal and peaceful Lafayette Park protesters?  Do you remember the moment showing the cameraman getting sucker punched in the face by an amped up bully in uniform?  Well that cameraman was broadcasting live to Australia as he got punched. And it was broadcast live to audiences on other side of the globe, America's finest underlining the Police Brutality seen round the world.  

June 2:   Virginia declines to send National Guard to DC for White House crackdown, Fox 5 DC

June 2:  Medical Workers Fighting COVID Say Cops Are Attacking Them, by Olivia Messer, Daily Beast

Twenty minutes after leaving his job at a Brooklyn hospital on Saturday night, 32-year-old Rayne Valentine was lying in the fetal position on the sidewalk.

 

He’d been beaten and kicked by New York police officers, his hospital ID smeared with his own blood.

June 2:  ‘Your Home Will Burn’: Minnesota Homes With BLM Signs Are Receiving Death Threats, by Justin Glawe and Kate Briquelet, Daily Beast

June 2:  The Reality-TV President Has His Defining TV Moment, by Kevin Fallon, Daily Beast

Trump’s obsession with scripted TV moments epically backfired when his protest presser aired alongside live police violence. It’s disturbing footage that should go down in history

 

On CNN, the remarks—in which the president failed to mention the racism and police brutality at the root of the crisis and instead threatened military retaliation against American citizens—were shown in a split-screen with live footage of what was happening on the street outside the White House.

 

Police were firing tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters who were, by every account, peaceful. It turns out they were violently driving them away to clear space for Trump to walk from the White House’s front door to St. John’s Church for a photo-op.

 

The camera followed him as he walked past “FTP” graffiti (translating to: “fuck the police”), and captured him fumbling with the Bible awkwardly as he posed in front of the church, having clearly arrived with no plan of how to execute the stunt other than the fact that he was going to exploit the church and the Bible for it.

 

The photo-op was meaningless. It sent no message. A booming message had been sent, however, when the words of his speech were juxtaposed with the violence he was stoking. And all in the name of an ego trip, as reports indicate that the impetus to walk outside the White House was Trump’s displeasure with coverage that he was sheltered in a bunker during Sunday night’s protests.

 

He had attempted to stage a narcissistic, fictional tableau of strength and triumph. The result was a disaster.

June 2:  The DEA Has Been Given Permission To Investigate People Protesting George Floyd’s Death, by Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier, BuzzFeed News 

 All you poor dumb bastards who signed up for pot shop mailing lists or paid with traceable transactions, I feel for you.  You wanna run a pot shop?  Good luck keeping your customers unbusted while a desperate self serving piece of shit remains president.  Everything you want to do is a federal crime.

 

On the other hand, if you sit there, quiet as a mouse, while Donald J. Trump runs roughshod over the American Constitution, the values and liberties that actually made America great, maybe they won't bother you.  

 

Silence is healthy, right?  Just let Trump do what he wants to do. Donate to his campaign fund.  Kiss his ring.  He'll leave you alone 

June 2:  The FBI Finds ‘No Intel Indicating Antifa Involvement’ in Sunday’s Violence, by Ken Klippenstein, The Nation

Trump wants to designate antifa a terrorist organization, despite lack of authority and evidence of wrongdoing. 

June 2:  Justice Is Not White Folks’ Possession to Give, by Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson, Episode 13 of The New Abnormal, Daily Beast

June 2:  We’ve Now Entered the Final Phase of the Trump Era, by Thomas Wright, The Brookings Institution

The worst possible crisis arrived in COVID-19, one that tugged at every weakness of the president and the nation. It demanded scientific literacy, discipline, trust in authority, sacrifice, and patience. And then another crisis arrived with the economic depression. And then another, with the brutal murder of George Floyd. Now more than 100,000 people are dead, more than 40 million are unemployed, and violent protests have spread across the country.

 

Trump is stuck in a vicious downward spiral. He is incapable of undertaking the policies necessary to address any of these three crises, so he grasps for actions that shock the senses—accusing journalists of murder, pulling out of the World Health Organization, trying to prosecute Obama-administration officials. These actions simply make matters worse, but he still doubles down again and again.

 

There is no way back from the Götterdämmerung in the remainder of the Trump era. The question facing responsible senior administration officials (there are several at the principal and deputy level), Republicans in Congress, and allied governments is not how to persuade Trump to do the right thing, but how to limit the damage so the government can be repaired after he is gone. This may mean not urging Trump to take action on crises even if it is merited; circumventing the president wherever possible; Republican governors declaring their independence from their party leader, trying to craft a bipartisan approach in Congress on foreign-policy issues such as competing with China in international institutions and protecting against Russian interference; and using distractions of their own to divert his attention from truly consequential decisions. Call it fortification—of constitutional democracy and America’s international interests. There are 231 long days with nothing but stormy weather left.

June 2:  Column: After Hoover’s police, like Trump’s, assaulted peaceful protesters, he lost reelection. Will Trump? by Michael Hiltzik, LA Times

 "Well, Felix, this elects me."
Franklin D. Roosevelt to Felix Frankfurter after President Herbert Hoover's attack on the Bonus Army 

 June 2:  I Cannot Remain Silent, by Admiral Mike Mullen, 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, The Atlantic

It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president's visit outside St. John's Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump's leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent.

 

Whatever Trump's goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.

There was little good in the stunt.

 

While no one should ever condone the violence, vandalism, and looting that has exploded across our city streets, neither should anyone lose sight of the larger and deeper concerns about institutional racism that have ignited this rage.

 

As a white man, I cannot claim perfect understanding of the fear and anger that African Americans feel today. But as someone who has been around for a while, I know enough—and I’ve seen enough—to understand that those feelings are real and that they are all too painfully founded.

 

We must, as citizens, address head-on the issue of police brutality and sustained injustices against the African American community. We must, as citizens, support and defend the right—indeed, the solemn obligation—to peacefully assemble and to be heard. These are not mutually exclusive pursuits.

 

And neither of these pursuits will be made easier or safer by an overly aggressive use of our military, active duty or National Guard. The United States has a long and, to be fair, sometimes troubled history of using the armed forces to enforce domestic laws. The issue for us today is not whether this authority exists, but whether it will be wisely administered.

 

I remain confident in the professionalism of our men and women in uniform. They will serve with skill and with compassion. They will obey lawful orders. But I am less confident in the soundness of the orders they will be given by this commander in chief, and I am not convinced that the conditions on our streets, as bad as they are, have risen to the level that justifies a heavy reliance on military troops. Certainly, we have not crossed the threshold that would make it appropriate to invoke the provisions of the Insurrection Act.

 

Furthermore, I am deeply worried that as they execute their orders, the members of our military will be co-opted for political purposes.

Even in the midst of the carnage we are witnessing, we must endeavor to see American cities and towns as our homes and our neighborhoods. They are not “battle spaces” to be dominated, and must never become so.

 

We must ensure that African Americans—indeed, all Americans—are given the same rights under the Constitution, the same justice under the law, and the same consideration we give to members of our own family. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so.

 

Too many foreign and domestic policy choices have become militarized; too many military missions have become politicized.

This is not the time for stunts. This is the time for leadership.

 

MIKE MULLEN is a retired admiral from the U.S. Navy and was the 17th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

June 2:  The Christians Who Loved Trump’s Stunt, by McKay Coppins, The Atlantic

In many ways, the president’s stunt last night—with its mix of shallow credal signaling and brutish force—was emblematic of his appeal to the religious right. As I’ve written before, most white conservative Christians don’t want piety from this president; they want power. In Trump, they see a champion who will restore them to their rightful place at the center of American life, while using his terrible swift sword to punish their enemies.

 

Andrew Whitehead, a sociologist at Clemson University, has argued that Trump’s religious base can best be understood through the lens of Christian nationalism. In his research, Whitehead has found that white Protestants who believe most strongly that Christianity should hold a privileged place in America’s public square are more likely than others to agree with statements such as “We must crack down on troublemakers to save our moral standards and keep law and order” and “Police officers shoot blacks more often because they are more violent than whites.”

 

Whitehead told me in an interview that Christian nationalism is often not really about theology (and thus can’t be ascribed to all conservative churchgoers): “It’s about identity, enforcing hierarchy, and order.”

 

To Trump, the Bible and the church are not symbols of faith; they are weapons of culture war. And to many of his Christian supporters watching at home, the pandering wasn’t an act of inauthenticity; it was a sign of allegiance—and shared dominance.

June 2:  Pat Robertson tells Trump that his response to the George Floyd protests "isn't cool.", Right Wing Watch

June 2:  The FBI Finds ‘No Intel Indicating Antifa Involvement’ in Sunday’s Violence, by Ken Klippenstein, The Nation

Trump wants to designate antifa a terrorist organization, despite lack of authority and evidence of wrongdoing.

June 2:  Former Commanders Fault Trump’s Use of Troops Against Protesters, by Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt and Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times

The Air Force’s top enlisted airman used Twitter to express his anger.

 

“Just like most of the Black Airmen and so many others in our ranks ... I am outraged at watching another Black man die on television before our very eyes,” Kaleth O. Wright, the chief master sergeant of the Air Force, said in a Twitter thread, citing the names of black men who died in police custody or in police shootings. “I am George Floyd ... I am Philando Castile, I am Michael Brown, I am Alton Sterling, I am Tamir Rice.”

June 2:  Cornel West: The Future Of America Depends On How We Respond, MSNBC

June 3:  Et tu, Fox?  ‘It Breaks My Heart’: Fox’s Marie Harf Rips Trump’s St. John’s Photo Op, Crooks and Liars

- we have reports this morning that there were clergy, other clergy from the Episcopal church on the church steps, forcibly tear gassed by police, so the president could do this photo op.

June 3:  Bye, Frank: In Wake Of Protests, Philadelphia Finally Takes Down Rizzo Statue, by Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars

Frank Rizzo, who served as police commissioner from 1967 to 1971 and mayor from 1972 to 1980, oversaw a legacy of police brutality in the city and of discrimination against minorities. In 1971, he publicly urged supporters to “Vote White.” NBC Philadelphia reports that a crew arrived just after midnight Wednesday to remove the statue from the steps of the city’s Municipal Services Building. Members of the National Guard reportedly surrounded the area as work began. Shortly before 2 a.m., a truck drove off with the statue. City mayor Jim Kenney posted a photo of the empty spot early Wednesday alongside the caption: “The statue represented bigotry, hatred, and oppression for too many people, for too long. It is finally gone.”

June 3:   Six Cops Charged In Attack On Atlanta College Students: 'I Thought I Was Going To Die', Crooks and Liars

Young described his injuries. "All over my body. My wrist is cracked. I have 20 stitches in my forearm. I have bruises all over my ribs. And I had a Taser in my back for about eight hours."

June 3:  "If you don't move you will be dead" - A Cop over a loudspeaker, screaming at protestors from the impunity of an armored vehicle. Walnut Creek, California

June3:  Whites nabbed for Grand Rapids looting, inciting looting on their facebook pages, kicking out the windows of a coffee shop. By John Agar, MLive

June 3:   Trump Had Kushner Push the National Enquirer to Probe Scarborough Murder Conspiracy, by Asawin Suebsaeng, Lloyd Grove and Maxwell Tani, The Daily Beast

June 3:   Trump: I Only Went to Bunker for ‘Short Period’ for an ‘Inspection’, by Justin Baragona, The Daily Beast

Per multiple reports, the president spent roughly an hour in the bunker—which is usually reserved for times of war and terrorist attacks—on Friday night. Officials have said the decision was made by the Secret Service as loud protests reached the White House barriers. Sources also said that the president’s family was there with him.

 

Trump and Kilmeade also discussed the outrage sparked by the president’s St. John’s Church photo-op, which was preceded by law enforcement violently clearing peaceful protesters from Lafayette Park to make way for the president’s foot trek from the White House.

 

Despite multiple reporters, clergy, and demonstrators saying they were hit with tear-gas and video showing police shooting such munitions into the gathering, the president repeatedly called it “fake news” while urging listeners to get the “real story” from far-right website The Federalist. He also waved off criticism he’s received from clergy over the political stunt, claiming most faith leaders “loved” it.

June 3:  Philadephia PD forced to retain Neo Nazi cop.  Hurray for those dreaded "Leftist" unions, eh?

June 3:  A Rally in Paris.  A Rally in Amsterdam.  A Rally in Berlin.  A Rally in Vancouver.  A Rally in LondonCopenhagen, Barcelona, Mexico City.  Rallies in Perth and Ireland.  Rallies at the Hague, at Trafalgar Square. 

June 3:  Fired Minneapolis Cops Charged: 2nd degree murder. Aiding and Abetting 2nd degree murder.

June 3:  Men wearing Hawaiian shirts and carrying guns add a volatile new element to protests, by Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Souad Mekhennet, The Washington Post

June 3:  Three ‘Boogaloos’ Conspired to Hijack George Floyd Protest and Spark Bloodshed: Feds, by Blake Montgomery, Daily Beast

Lynam and Parshall had initially set their sights on a protest against Nevada’s shelter-in-place orders, allegedly attending one such rally in early April while armed with pistols and assault rifles and scoping it out for possible disruption, prosecutors said. It was there that they allegedly told an FBI informant of their desire to topple the government. The two met Loomis at the demonstration and inducted him into their group.

June 3:  Detroit Police Chief James Craig, neighbors speak against outside agitators, by Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press

June 3:  Episcopal News Service:  Washington vigil runs into tension with some protesters as church leaders offer prayer, solidarity, by David Paulsen, 6/3/2020

“We have really seen what it’s like when the entire force of the government and the military and the state come out against religious freedom,” Mullen, The Episcopal Church’s director of reconciliation, evangelism and creation care, told ENS.

St. John’s had sustained minor damage from a fire May 31 as peaceful protests in the nation’s capital and in other cities were marred in some cases by property destruction.

 

On the evening of June 1, Trump addressed reporters in the White House’s Rose Garden, declaring himself both “your president of law and order” and “an ally of all peaceful protesters.” At about that time, under the order of Attorney General William Barr to clear the area, U.S. Park Police and other assisting law enforcement agencies police in riot gear began pushing back protesters who had amassed outside the White House and in Lafayette Square across from St. John’s. Reports indicate the protest there had been peaceful, and protesters were not yet in violation of the city’s 7 p.m. curfew.

 

At least one Episcopal priest was among those who fled the scene when police began using smoke and what eyewitnesses said was some sort of tear gas on the crowd, as well as flash-bang grenades. At least 20 priests and a group of lay people had been ministering to protesters throughout the day as “a peaceful presence” in support of the demonstrations.

 

U.S. Park Police denied using tear gas on protesters, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a range of “riot control agents,” like the smoke canisters and pepper balls used by federal authorities, are commonly referred to as “tear gas.”

With the square cleared, Secret Service agents and White House officials then escorted Trump to St. John’s, where he was handed a Bible and posed briefly for journalists while video footage showed him giving only a cursory glance at the boarded-up church. The visit lasted about 3 minutes. Trump called some of his aides, including Barr, to pose by his side before he left to return to the White House.

June 3:  Mattis goes after Trump: The president ‘tries to divide us’, by Lara Seligman and Daniel Lippman, Politico

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis broke his silence on the conduct of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, blasting him and top military leaders and saying he is “angry and appalled” with the events of the past week.

 

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” Mattis said in a statement sent to reporters Wednesday evening.

 

He cited Esper’s decision to pose in a “bizarre photo op” outside St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington after Attorney General William Barr ordered the clearing of protesters on Monday night. Esper said on Wednesday that he hadn’t known ahead of time that the photo op was happening.

Mattis called the decision to clear protesters in Lafayette Square an “abuse of executive authority” and said Americans should “reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

Mattis also urged the public to reject Esper’s characterization of American cities as a “‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate,'” referring to the Defense secretary’s comments comments to governors on Monday.

June 3:  An armed KKK member calling himself Jim Sheldon disrupted #BlackLivesMatter protest yesterday in Waynesboro, PA., Twitter

He "sieg-heiled" and told the protestors "Being black deserves capital punishment, George Floyd deserved to die, all of them do."

 

Jim Sheldon (Shelton?) identifies himself as the Grand Dragon of Hershey, Pennsylvania.

 

Ku Klux Klan in York County: So what do you do when you sit next to Sheldon the Klansman? Jim McClure, 10/2/2018, York Daily Record 

 

Coverage of Sheldon's York appearance on the NAACP Facebook page

 

28 Photos: Ku Klux Klan rallies & other wretched KKK York/Adams appearances in past century, 12/10/2018, York Daily Record

June 3:  Washington Wrote a Playbook for Preventing Police Violence. What Happened to it?, by Zack Stanton, Politico

If you asked a criminal justice expert to advise law enforcement on how to approach mass demonstrations or how a police department could improve its relationship with the communities it serves, it would look wildly different than what has unfolded this week.

In the wake of the 2014 killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, the Obama White House convened a blue-ribbon panel to figure out how to prevent that from ever happening again. They came up with a playbook, based on scores of interviews with law-enforcement professionals, criminal justice researchers, academics and civic leaders: When responding to mass demonstrations, keep riot police off the front lines; put them in back and use only if absolutely necessary. Don’t train officers to be “warriors” here to impose order on a community; train them to see themselves as guardians, partners in public safety. Don’t threaten to deploy the military; instead, prioritize deescalation by avoiding the use of military-style equipment that undermine civilian trust.

June 3:  Esper, on thin ice with the White House, reverses decision on troop deployments, by Lara Seligman and Meridith McGraw, Politico

The Pentagon chief irritated the president when he complained about deploying active-duty soldiers.

June 3:  People stuck in New York City traffic are witnessing the NYPD beat the shit out of folks on their way home, Josh Fox, Twitter video

June 3:  NRA Accidentally Forgets to Rise Up Against a Tyrannical Government, The Shovel

An embarrassed National Rifle Association says it totally forgot to do the one thing it has been saying for years it is solely there to do.


“Our whole reason for lobbying for looser gun laws and amassing huge personal arsenals of weapons these past years was so that we could ensure the security of a free state and protect the people from an oppressive government. And then it actually happened, and the whole rising up against a tyrannical government thing just totally slipped our minds, which is a little embarrassing,” a sheepish NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said.

 

He said the morale around the NRA has been pretty low. “The guys feel pretty silly. We had our well regulated militia stocked up and ready to go, just waiting for the moment when the Government would turn on its own people. And then the government started shooting protesters and rolling tanks down the street, and we were like ‘guys this is the one we’ve been talking about, let’s go!’. But then something else came up and we forgot to do it. Damnit!”.

 

Observers were shocked that the NRA had missed their opportunity to defend their country. “I can’t believe it,” one analyst said. “It’s almost as if they weren’t worried about the government at all. It’s as if they were actually just scared of black people”.

June 3:  Mattis goes after Trump: The president ‘tries to divide us’, by Lara Seligman and Daniel Lippman

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis broke his silence on the conduct of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, blasting him and top military leaders and saying he is “angry and appalled” with the events of the past week.

 

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” Mattis said in a statement sent to reporters Wednesday evening.

 

He cited Esper’s decision to pose in a “bizarre photo op” outside St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington after Attorney General William Barr ordered the clearing of protesters on Monday night. Esper said on Wednesday that he hadn’t known ahead of time that the photo op was happening.

 

Mattis called the decision to clear protesters in Lafayette Square an “abuse of executive authority” and said Americans should “reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

 

Mattis also urged the public to reject Esper’s characterization of American cities as a “‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate,'” referring to the Defense secretary’s comments comments to governors on Monday.

June 3: 10 things we know about race and policing in the U.S., by Drew Desilver, Michael Lipka and Dalia Fahmy, FactTank/Pew Research Center

June 3:  Minneapolis Police Use Force Against Black People at 7 Times the Rate of Whites, by Richard A Oppel Jr and Lazaro Gamio, The New York Times, 6/3/2020

About 20 percent of Minneapolis’s population of 430,000 is black. But when the police get physical — with kicks, neck holds, punches, shoves, takedowns, Mace, Tasers or other forms of muscle — nearly 60 percent of the time the person subject to that force is black. And that is according to the city’s own figures

June 3:  York City cop accused of acting out George Floyd's death at party, by Liz Evans Scolforo, York Dispatch

An off-duty York City police officer at a college graduation party reenacted the police-custody death of George Floyd in front of two black women, according to the women, who have spoken with the city police department's internal affairs inspector.

 

Officer Clayton Swartz put his knee on the neck of another man at the party — with "big giant smiles across their faces like it's funny," India Maldonado, of Spring Garden Township, told The York Dispatch.

 

"He starts saying, 'Can you breathe? Are you dead yet?'" Maldonado said of Swartz, while the man on the couch "essentially started convulsing his body like he was dying."

June 4:  Mayor: Officer now on desk duty, accused of reenacting George Floyd's death, by Liz Evans Scolforo, York Dispatch

OrangeIsTheNewBlackLivesMatter600w50pct

June 4:  Minneapolis Judge: $750K bail for 3 ex-officers accused in George Floyd’s death, by STEVE KARNOWSKI, AP

Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, Derek Chauvin

June 4:  Oops!  Bail upped to $1 million, Chao Xiong, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Thomas Lane, the third man from the left in the above photograph, asked Chauvin twice to roll Floyd on his side, in other words, that the murder in progress be stopped. Chauvin, the murderer, refused.  Interpersonal dynamics suck.  Would you have had the will to force the issue?

 

Hennepin County District Court Judge Paul Scoggin set each of their bails at $1 million without conditions or $750,000 with conditions, which include surrendering any guns they have. 

June 4:  Comedian Aamer Rahmen addresses the question: Nazis - Why would you punch only one? 

June 4:  American Cops groping a girl, then shooting and beating the shit out of her, earning every bit of their abysmal reputation. 

June 4:  LAPD beating the shit out of peaceful demonstrators with their three foot batons.

Just like the Chinese army beats on freedom protesters in Hong Kong. Baseball bat power swings. Delivering as much pain as an out of control piece of human filth can muster. Hiding behind a badge.

June 4:  Shelby Township police chief Robert J. Shelide was placed on a leave of absence Thursday, by Mike Martindale, The Detroit News

Township officials are investigating inflammatory internet posts that have been attributed to him, including one calling for "body bags" for "vicious subhumans" involved in recent demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.

 

At issue are Facebook and Twitter remarks responding to Black Lives Matter and George Floyd protests. Neither post is attributed directly to Shelide but instead from a “BobbyS” or “Sheepdawg711,” reportedly pseudonyms used by Shelide, with the following remarks:

 

“Trump threatening to deploy the military. I have a better idea. Unleash real cops and let them take care of the barbarians. I promise it will be over in 24 hours. Cops are crippled by politicians and the media.”

 

In another post, “Sheepdawg” commented: “Wild savages. I wish to God I would have been there. Body bags for these vicious subhumans.”

 

The "Sheepdawg" Twitter account had been deactivated as of Thursday afternoon but had links to Sheilde that could indicate they were secret accounts. “Sheepdawg” or “Sheepdog” is a metaphor or slang for someone who watches over others (sheep) and knows violence is sometimes necessary to protect sheep from wolves.

June 4:  As protests grip Washington, President Trump and D.C. Mayor Bowser clash in contest over control of city streets, by David Nakamura and Fenrit Nirappil, The Washington Post

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and President Trump were engaged in an escalating contest over control of Washington streets when the email from a military planner set off new alarms in the mayor’s office.

 

The official was seeking guidance Wednesday afternoon for the U.S. Northern Command in determining “route restrictions” for the “movement of tactical vehicles” and “military forces” from Fort Belvoir, Va., into the city to assist in “Civil Disturbance Operations.”

June 4:  'The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened': John Kelly defends Mattis, by Max Cohen, Politico

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly said Thursday that President Donald Trump "has clearly forgotten" the circumstances of former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis's departure from the administration, breaking with his former boss to side with a fellow retired Marine Corps general.

 

In an interview with The Washington Post, Kelly contradicted Trump’s claim that he had fired Mattis. Kelly called Mattis “an honorable man” and described Trump’s Twitter attack on the former Defense secretary as “nasty.”

 

“The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Kelly, who was Trump's chief of staff when Mattis departed the administration, told the Washington Post. “The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused.”

 

Kelly and Mattis, both retired four-star Marine Corps generals, were subjects of early infatuation for Trump, who bragged often about stocking his initial cabinet with military brass.

June 4:  Police groups break with Biden, by Marc Caputo and Natasha Korecki, Politico

“Police are shaking their heads because he used to be a stand-up guy who backed law enforcement,” one top official said. 

 

Question: What's "law enforcement" got to do with the riot of brutality American police are inflicting?

June 4:   In Idaho, armed white vigilantes mobilized for antifa protests that never occurred, by Isaac Stanley-Becker and Tony Tomm, The Washington Post

So when early reports about potential violence surfaced just a day later - claiming "ANTIFA agitators" were storming the state this week - scores of residents took to the streets. Armed with military-style assault rifles, they stood guard in places like Coeur d'Alene, aiming to protect the resort town of 50,000 nestled along a lake in northwest Idaho.

 

"Enough of us swung into action, and put the word out on social media and elsewhere, that we were able to deploy and meet any violent elements that might come here from out of state," said Trevor Treller, a sommelier and one of the armed locals. Treller, 48, said he mobilized after hearing from trusted voices that "antifa types" were on the move.

 

As vigils and protest actions unfolded in Idaho this week, local officials across the state confirmed that not a single participant had defiled a home or storefront in the name of "antifa," a loose label attributed to far-left activists. Many of the rumors about violent protests originated from a series of dubious Facebook posts, often shared widely and rarely debunked, residents there said.

 

The raft of myths and misstatements that triggered visceral reactions throughout Idaho illustrates how long-standing grievances have fused with the vast reach of social media during protests that have swept through big cities as well as rural towns following the police killing of a prone black man in Minneapolis last week. Though many of the protests have been peaceful pleas to redress racial injustice, scenes of burning buildings and trashed businesses - often not at the hands of the demonstrators - have fueled the perception of a country under siege.

June 4:  White House deletes bogus brick video accusing Antifa of planning for riots, by Mike Moffitt, SFGate

On Wednesday, the White House released a compilation of video clips posted on social media showing piles of bricks that supposedly had been planted at various locations by Antifa activists to foment violence at protests.

 

“Antifa and professional anarchists are invading our communities, staging bricks and weapons to instigate violence,” the White House caption for the video claimed. “These are acts of domestic terror.”

 

Journalists immediately found that most of the clips had already been investigated and debunked. Shortly there

after the White House deleted the video from its official Twitter and Facebook feeds. But only after it tallied more than a million views.

For a supposed terrorist organization, Antifa — an amorphous left-wing movement comprising socialists, communists, anarchists and anti-capitalists — is about as disorganized as a group can get. It has no known leadership, no headquarters and no clear ideology, besides opposing whatever its adherents consider to be fascist.

 

According to The Nation, an FBI situation report states that “based on CHS [Confidential Human Source] canvassing, open source/social media partner engagement, and liaison, FBI WFO (Washington Field Office) has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence.”

 

However, the FBI did warn that members of a far-right social media group "called for far-right provocateurs to attack federal agents" and "use automatic weapons against protesters."

June 4:  NYPD attack peaceful protest, stage a mass incarceration, mass COVID-19 infection event, Jake Offenhartz

June 4:  Attorney Greg Doucette links to dozens of videos and photos of standard, par for the course, routine operating procedure police brutalism and state sanctioned terror. 

June 4:  Brave protectors and Servants of the People suspended after video shows them shoving a 75 year old man backward onto the concrete sidewalk and walking away while he bled out, concussed and alone

June 4:  New York Cops Beat Protesters for Crime of Being There, by Lachlan Cartwright, Danny Gold, Simon Ostrovsky and Sam Brodey, Daily Beast

June 4:  DOJ charges three Boogaloo Bois, the neofascist armed hate group most famous for their Hawaiian shirts, with terrorism offenses  after they infiltrate a Las Vegas #BlackLivesMatter rally

All three of the Boogaloo Bois were ex military.    

June 4:  Army reservist, Navy and Air Force vets plotted to terrorize Vegas protests, prosecutors charge, by Michelle L. Price and Scott Sonner, The Associated Press, carried in The Military Times

June 4:  Another Five Star General denounces President Donald Trump's threat to use troops to suppress ongoing protests in the US.

The ex-Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Gen Martin Dempsey, told National Public Radio that Mr Trump's remarks were "very troubling" and "dangerous".

"The idea that the military would be called in to dominate and to suppress what, for the most part, were peaceful protests - admittedly, where some had opportunistically turned them violent - and that the military would somehow come in and calm that situation was very dangerous to me," he added.

His criticism comes a day after former Marine Gen Jim Mattis, Mr Trump's former defence secretary, denounced the president, saying he deliberately stokes division.

June 4:  Retired military leaders step up with fierce Trump criticisms, by Steve Benen, MSNBC

Gen. Martin Dempsey, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Tony Thomas, the former head of the Special Operations Command, both publicly criticized White House tactics this week. Retired Adm. Mike Mullen, a Bush-appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs, was even more forceful in denouncing Team Trump.

 

Late yesterday, Foreign Policy magazine published a piece from retired four-star Marine Gen. John Allen, who argued that Trump is putting "the American experiment" at risk. Reflecting on the threat the president peddled on Monday, Allen added, "There is no precedent in modern U.S. history for a president to wield federal troops in a state or municipality over the objections of the respective governor. Right now, the last thing the country needs -- and, frankly, the U.S. military needs -- is the appearance of U.S. soldiers carrying out the president's intent by descending on American citizens."

 

For good measure, Russel Honore, a retired lieutenant general, wrote on Twitter this morning that he's now ignoring Trump's missives -- because the president offers "too much bull s**t." (He had some related thoughts on MSNBC's "All In" last night.)

June 4:  Trump and the Military: A Mutual Embrace Might Dissolve on America’s Streets, by David E. Sanger and Helene Cooper

Mr. Trump’s threat to use the 1807 Insurrection Act to send active-duty troops on American soil against protesters has laid bare the chasm in the national security community that was forming even when he ran for office in 2016.

 

Back then it was only a limited group of “Never Trumpers” — establishment Republican national security professionals repelled by Mr. Trump’s description of how American power should be wielded around the world — who wrote and spoke of the dangers. He “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president, they wrote, and “would put at risk our country’s national security.”

 

This week, it was his former defense secretary, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a range of other retired senior officers who were saying in public what they previously said only in private: that the risk lies in the fact that the president regards the military, which historically has prized its nonpartisan, apolitical role in society, as just another political force to be massed to his advantage.

 

“There is a thin line between the military’s tolerance for questionable partisan moves over the past three years and the point where these become intolerable for an apolitical military,” said Douglas E. Lute, a retired three-star Army general who coordinated Afghanistan and Pakistan operations on the National Security Council for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and later became the American ambassador to NATO. “Relatively minor episodes have accumulated imperceptibly, but we are now at a point of where real damage is being done.”

June 4:  White House adds fencing around perimeter, NBC News

June 4:  Washington D.C. Mayor ends curfew, asks Trump to get his unidentified mercenaries the hell out of Dodge 

DCMayorLetterToTrumpEndingCurfew2020 06 04 828w1057h40pct

June 4:  Armed Counterprotesters Are Menacing BLM Rallies Across America, by Kate Briquelet, Daily Beast

June 4: Tom Cotton's Fascist Op-Ed, by Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times

Before Donald Trump became president, most newspaper op-ed pages sought to present a spectrum of politically significant opinion and argument, which they could largely do while walling off extremist propaganda and incitement. The Trump presidency has undermined that model, because there’s generally no way to defend the administration without being either bigoted or dishonest.

June 5:  Are We All Trapped in Tom Cotton’s Authoritarian Wet Dream?, by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast, Episode 14 of The New Abnormal, The Daily Beast

June 5:  Salem, Oregon Police officer tells alt.right vigilantes to hide inside a building because they're about to tear gas a BLM demonstration.  The officer said he was warning them discreetly because he didn't want demonstrators to see Police "play favorites."  Tik Tok

June 5:  His chief says he meant well. Those darned Fascists!  So, never mind..., by Virginia Barreda and Whitney Woodworth, Salem Statesman-Journal 

June 5:   All 57 members of Buffalo police riot response team resign, by Maki Becker

All 57 of the members of the Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team resigned Friday from the unit which responds to riots and other crowd control situations, the president of the union that represents Buffalo police officers told The Buffalo News.

 

Two law enforcement sources confirmed the resignations.

 

Two members of the Emergency Response Team were suspended without pay late Thursday after they involved in pushing a 75-year-old protester to the ground as they were clearing the area in front of Buffalo City Hall at the emergency curfew. The Erie County District Attorney's Office is investigating the incident. No charges have been filed.

 

The Emergency Response Team members have not quit the police department, but have stepped down from the tactical unit, according to the sources.

 

The union representing Buffalo police officers told its rank and file members Friday that the union would no longer pay for legal fees to defend police officers related to the protests which began Saturday in downtown Buffalo and have continued on and off, according to one source.

 

[It's getting so the boys in black and blue can't push an old man down the church steps....]

June 5:   Cuomo condemns police involved in shoving incident, calls for probe, by Tom Precious, The Buffalo News

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he spoke by phone this morning with Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old peace activist who was shoved to the ground by Buffalo police officers in an incident captured on video that’s gone viral around the world.

 

Cuomo condemned the police who injured the Amherst resident and then “you just walk by the person when you see blood coming from his head?”

 

“It’s just fundamentally offensive and frightening ... How did we get to this place," Cuomo said at the Capitol after showing a video of the incident.

June 5:  U.S. Marine Corps orders removal of all confederate battle flags

USMCOrdersRemovalOfConfederateFlag

June 5:  Fox News Displays Graphic Showing Stock Market Gains After Murders Of Black Men, by Red Painter, Crooks and Liars

FOX ranked the impact of deaths and assaults on black men on the stock market. No, really. They did that. 

 

FoxNewsStockMarketVsBlackMensDeathBarChart 2020 06 06

 

June 5:  Milley, America’s Top General, Walks Into a Political Battle, by Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt and Thomas Gibbons-Neff, The New York Times

The military that Gen. Mark A. Milley represents is facing what could be the worst schism with the American public since the fractious Vietnam War years.

 

After accompanying the president from the White House to a church in his camouflage uniform as National Guard troops in helmets and riot gear deployed across the country, General Milley has quickly become the face of what could amount to the American military’s fall from public grace, to levels not seen since the Vietnam War.

 

“Milley (he’s a general !?!?) should not have walked over to the church with Trump,” Michael Hayden, the retired Air Force general who has directed both the National Security Agency and the C.I.A., said on Twitter, noting that he “was appalled to see him in his battle dress.”

 

One Defense Department official on Friday likened General Milley’s walk across the park to walking through hell wearing gasoline underwear.

 

Pentagon officials say General Milley was horrified afterward, and he has not appeared before cameras since.

 

It is unclear if Mr. Trump has given more than a cursory look at his senior military adviser. General Milley has a hard exterior that neatly fits Mr. Trump’s idea of what a general should look like. But the general, a Princeton graduate with a penchant for long discourses on historical warfare, is probably as cerebral as General Goldfein, the Air Force chief the president rejected for the top military job.

 

Speaking to troops in Afghanistan in November, Mr. Trump expressed his usual suspicion of education, in comments about General Milley’s academic pedigree. “You know, he went to Princeton,” Mr. Trump said. “And he went to Columbia. I’m not sure — was that a good thing or a bad? I don’t know.”

 

On Wednesday, General Milley released his own letter that forcefully reminded the troops that their military is supposed to protect the right to freedom of speech. He added a handwritten codicil to his letter, some of it straying outside the margins: “We all committed our lives to the idea that is America — We will stay true to that oath and the American people

June 5:  News Photographer's blow by blow Account of being protected and served by the Buffalo, New York Department of Battery

On Sunday, at exactly 8:01PM (8pm curfew) I had four M16S assault rifles pointed at my head by Buffalo SWAT. I asked why this was all happening to a member of the press with 1A protections to which they responded "fuck your first amendment" and put me in handcuffs

June 5:  ‘Black Lives Matter’: In giant yellow letters, D.C. mayor sends message to Trump, by Fenit Nirappil, Julie Zauzmer and Rachel Chason, The Washington Post

The art takes up two blocks on 16th Street NW, between K and H streets, an iconic promenade directly north of the White House. Local artist Rose Jaffe said she and others joined city work crews to paint the giant slogan, starting before dawn.

June 5:  Are crowd-control weapons dangerous? Very, says UC Berkeley expert, by Gretchen Kell, 6/5/2020

Rubber bullets is a generic term for a variety of projectiles that are not considered live ammunition. These can include compounds of rubber, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), hard plastics, foam and even metal, as well as bean bag rounds and other rounds or shot. Tear gas is also a catch-all term for a variety of chemical irritants, including pepper spray (an extraction, from peppers, of oleoresin capsicum) and its synthetic, PAVA; and traditional tear gas, also called CS or CN gas, and its successors.

 

These are all weapons. They are as dangerous as the person who fires them wants them to be. They can injure, maim and kill. They are not as deadly as live ammunition, of course, but when you consider the number of people exposed to tear gas and rubber bullets in a crowd, in protests and demonstrations around the world every day, that denominator is huge. So, injuries and deaths are everywhere.

 

Let’s start with rubber bullets and other rounds. Our research finds that these weapons have no role at all in crowd control. At close range, the bullet leaves the weapon at speeds comparable to live bullets and can break bones. If they hit the head or face, they can fracture the skull or destroy the eye or neck structures. At longer ranges, their irregular shapes cause them to tumble and ricochet. They have unpredictable trajectories and can hit a bystander in the eye or a small child in the head.

 

It’s almost impossible to actually use tear gas in a safe way to ensure the orderly dispersal of crowds. But even if that was plausible, tear gas is a dispersal agent, and one has to ask, ‘Why are the police ending the demonstration?’ Even if an individual or a small group is violent, that is not a reason to stop the vast majority of folks from exercising their rights to speech and assembly. The threshold for firing any weapon onto unarmed civilians must be very high, much higher than we are seeing right now in the U.S.

June 5:  Howell protest draws Black Lives Matter, Second Amendment group to city with racial past, by John Wisely, Detroit Free Press

The gathering drew curious looks, horn honks and the occasional middle finger or white supremacist hand symbols flashed from people driving by on Grand River.

 

Members of Michigan for 2A Sanctuary Counties-Livingston, a Second Amendment rights group, said they were coming to protect the city from violence. Outside the courthouse, several of them were walking around openly carrying handguns on their hips.

 

Howell has a long history of racial tension. In the 1960s and '70s, Robert Miles, the former Grand Dragon of the Michigan Ku Klux Klan lived nearby. Howell residents are quick to note that he didn't live in Howell proper, but rather in Cohoctah Township, a farming community about 10 miles north of town.

 

Miles was one of several former Klan members convicted of the 1973 bombing of 10 school buses in Pontiac that were to transport students to integrated schools. He held Klan meetings on his farm, but Howell residents note that he drew fierce opposition in the 1970s when he tried to hold one in front of the historic courthouse, where the Black Lives Matter rally was held.

June 5:  Bad Apples in Buffalo, by Adam Serwer, The Atlantic

Fifty-seven officers were willing to take a stand to defend misconduct rather than oppose it.

 

After an elderly protester in Buffalo, New York, was pushed to the ground by police officers and left to lie there as blood pooled beneath his head, the head of the local police union, John Evans, said his colleagues were disgusted.

 

Disgusted, that is, that two of the officers seen in the video were suspended without pay.

 

“Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders,” Evans told the Buffalo NBC affiliate WGRZ, offering a classic Nuremberg defense. The officers remain employed; they have simply resigned from the riot team that was deployed to clear the city’s Niagara Square of residents protesting police abuse.

 

The reaction of Buffalo’s police union helps explain why such abuses remain a stubborn problem. One core purpose of unions is to advocate for their members and protect their jobs as best they can. But in the context of policing, that often means protecting officers who abuse their authority. As Reason’s Peter Suderman writes, “In case after case, police unions have defended deadly misdeeds committed by law enforcement,” even when officers violate department policies in a way that leads to someone’s death.

 

According to a 2000 survey published by the National Institute of Justice, 67 percent of police officers believe that “an officer who reports another officer’s misconduct is likely to be given the cold shoulder by his or her fellow officers.” Fifty-two percent believe that “it is not unusual for a police officer to turn a blind eye to improper conduct by other officers.” Just 39 percent agreed with the statement that “police officers always report serious criminal violations involving abuse of authority by fellow officers.” A more recent 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center found that a majority of police officers believed most officers in their department would not report a colleague whom they caught drunk driving. And this is the view of the police themselves.

June 6:  Pentagon Ordered National Guard Helicopters’ Aggressive Response in D.C., by Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Eric Schmitt

The high-profile episode, after days of protests in Washington, was a turning point in the military’s response to unrest in the city.

 

The episode has stirred outrage among lawmakers. “What we saw on Monday night was our military using its equipment to threaten and put Americans at risk on American soil,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat and former Army Black Hawk pilot.

June 6:  How Police Unions Became Such Powerful Opponents to Reform Efforts, by Noam Scheiber, Farah Stockman and J. David Goodman, The New York Times

One paper by researchers at the University of Chicago found that incidents of violent misconduct in Florida sheriff’s offices increased by about 40 percent after deputies gained collective bargaining rights.

 

June 6:  Protesters pack nation’s capital, vowing to be heard, by Samantha Schmidt, Hannah Natanson, Jessica Contrera, Michael E. Ruane and John Woodrow Cox, The Washington Post

Thousands of people poured into the nation’s capital on the ninth day of protests over police brutality, but what awaited this sprawling crowd — the largest yet in Washington — was a city that no longer felt as if it was being occupied by its own country’s military.

 

Gone were the 10-ton, sand-colored tankers in front of Lafayette Square and the legions of officers braced behind riot shields, insisting that citizens stay away. In fact, few police were visible anywhere. And when protesters did see law enforcement — men in camoflouge, grouped in twos or threes and seldom armed — they did not scream abuse, as many of them might have in previous days.

 

Few of the day’s demonstrations were choreographed, as protesters flowed from one impromptu gathering or march to another. Those who came understood this was a moment in America when change seemed possible. They simply had to be there for it.

 

“No justice!” they chanted. “No peace!”

 

But the man in whose direction they yelled couldn’t hear them. Nearly two miles of metal fencing now surrounded the White House, as if it had been locked in a cage, and inside, President Trump was raging. He retweeted himself, sharing a message from the day before in which he described D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser as “grossly incompetent, and in no way qualified to be running an important city like Washington, D.C.”

 

Not long after, Bowser (D) stood on the stretch of 16th she’d had painted “Black Lives Matter” in huge yellow letters and named in the movement’s honor.

 

She denounced Trump administration officials for authorizing federal officers to fire tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protesters, clearing them from Lafayette Square so the president could get his photo taken with a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Now, on the section of fence there, hung protest signs, an American flag, and a torn yellow strip of police tape that read: “Crime Scene.”

 

“Today we say no,” Bowser told the crowd. “In November, we say next.”

June 6:  Teens have been gassed and hit with rubber bullets at protests. They keep coming back, by Samantha Schmitt, The Washington Post

“We are the face of this movement,” she shouted to the crowd. “We are the face of this generation. We will not let this stand. Enough is enough.”

 

Hours later, Aly coughed and wheezed in a cloud of chemical gas near the White House. On Monday, she ran as federal law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets to clear demonstrators from Lafayette Square. On Thursday, she returned to the protests yet again, leading a crowd of more than a thousand people at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in a moment of silence.

 

Across the country, thousands of teenagers like Aly are on the front lines of the protests demanding justice for George Floyd and other victims of police brutality.

 

The images of teenagers being roughed up by police officers evokes memories of the Children’s Crusade in 1963, when more than a thousand black students skipped class for a civil rights march in Birmingham, Ala. Police aimed fire hoses at them, launching them onto the street. Some of the children joined hands, forming a human chain to fight the blasts.

 

June 6:   History Will Judge the Complicit, by Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic

Why have Republican leaders abandoned their principles in support of an immoral and dangerous president?

June 6:   Senior Trump Advisor Retweets Viral Video Of Chainsaw-wielding Man Yelling 'F***ing N*****s', by Ed Scarce, Crooks and Liars

Mercedes Schlapp retweeted the viral video of man chasing away anti-racism protesters. Apparently a hero to people on the right.

 

Apologies from the sign company named on Mr. Chainsaw's pickup.

 

Mercedes Schlapp was the White House Director of Strategic Communications until mid-2019. Since then she's worked on Trump's re-election campaign. She's also married to Matt Schlapp, the head of the American Conservative Union.

 

UPDATE: After the Politico story went up someone must have whispered in her ear that retweeting videos with chainsaw-wielding psychos wasn't a good look, she removed her retweet and sent out a statement to Trump TV as some sort of apology.

 

Flash from the past:  Mercedes Schlapp Whines That Calling Out Trump's Racism Is 'Insulting', 8/26/2016

 

June 6:  My tiny, white town just held a protest. We’re not alone. By Judy Muller, The Washington Post

June 6:  Mark Esper Showed a Little Spine After Monday, So We Know His Days Are Numbered, by Margaret Carlson, Daily Beast 

June 6:  The Floyd protests are the broadest in U.S. history — and are spreading to white, small-town America, by Lara Putnam, Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman, The Washington Post

National media focuses on the big demonstrations and protest policing in major cities, but they have not picked up on a different phenomenon that may have major long-term consequences for politics. Protests over racism and #BlackLivesMatter are spreading across the country — including in small towns with deeply conservative politics.

 

Two of us, Chenoweth and Pressman, have been gathering data on protests across the country, while the other, Putnam, studies political mobilization in Pennsylvania.

 

Our preliminary data shows that far more places have held protests already than held Women’s Marches in January 2017. That March occurred in 650 locations — and then had more participants than any other single-day demonstration in U.S. history. This time, few people had time for advance planning, amid a pandemic that has kept many Americans out of public spaces. And so the breadth of the protests is significant.

June 6: A month before George Floyd’s death, black and white Americans differed sharply in confidence in the police, by Hannah Gilberstadt, FactTank/Pew

FactTank 2020.06.05 ViewsOfPolice 02

June 6:  The Floyd protests will likely change public attitudes about race and policing. Here’s why. by Michael Tesler, The Washington Post, 6/5/2020

As political scientists Donald Kinder and Lynn Sanders explained in their seminal book “Divided by Color,” “By interpreting inner-city violence and poverty as glaring manifestations of the failure of blacks to live up to American values [conservative politicians] helped create and legitimize a new form of prejudice.” That racial resentment fueled a long “period of retrenchment” that rolled back many of the civil rights movement’s gains.

 

 

The Generation Gap in American Politics, FactTank/The Pew Research Center, 3/1/2018  Complete Report PDF

 

 

  1. Generations’ party identification, midterm voting preferences, views of Trump
  2. Views of scope of government, trust in government, economic inequality
  3. U.S. foreign policy and America’s global standing, Islam and violence, NAFTA
  4. Race, immigration, same-sex marriage, abortion, global warming, gun policy, marijuana legalization

 

Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins, by Michael Dimock, FactTank/Pew Research Center, 1/17/2019

 

Gen Zers, Millennials and Gen Xers outvoted Boomers and older generations in 2016 election, by Anthony Cilluffo and Richard Fry, FactTank/Pew Research Center

 

Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X outvoted older generations in 2018 midterms, by Anthony Cilluffo and Richard Fry, FactTank/Pew, 5/29/2019

Midterm voter turnout reached a modern high in 2018, and Generation Z, Millennials and Generation X accounted for a narrow majority of those voters, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available Census Bureau data.

 

Black voter turnout fell in 2016, even as a record number of Americans cast ballots, by Jens Manuel Krogstad and Mark Hugo Lopez, FactTank/Pew, 5/12/2017

 

[What is the probability of that happening again this November?  Zero.] 

FT 19.05.23 GenerationsVoting YoungergenerationsoutvotedBoomerpriorgenerations2018

FactTank Generational differenceInJobApprovalFirst yearInOffice 2018 03 01Graph1

 

June 6:  Macomb County's Hall Road protest started with iMessages between 3 teen girls, by M.L. Elrick and Elissa Robinson, Detroit Free Press

About 10 members of the civilian paramilitary Michigan militia watched demonstrators gather across from Lakeside Mall and walked part of the way observing from the median, said Sterling Heights Police Lt. Mario Bastianelli. Last month, the Michigan militia supported the efforts of Owosso barber Karl Manke to defy Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay home order that closed non-essential businesses, including barber shops and beauty salons.

June 6:  Buffalo Cops Who Shoved Elderly Man Charged With Second-Degree Assault, by Maxwell Tani, Daily Beast

June 6:  Minneapolis residents are forming patrols to protect their city from people who would mar the protests with violence—and some report having strange run-ins with armed white men, by Justin Glawe and Kate Briquelet, Daily Beast

MINNEAPOLIS—Edward walked up to an SUV full of four armed white men on Monday night, pumped his shotgun, and told them to get out of his neighborhood.

 

The men—who he said were armed with hunting knives and wearing tactical vests—told him they were from a suburb south of the city. After repeatedly asking them what they were doing and why they were in the Field neighborhood of South Minneapolis, Edward signaled to his wife, who retrieved the weapon and gave it to her husband.

 

“I just figured I’d respond using the language and methods that they use, and it worked,” Edward, who requested to use a pseudonym out of concern for his safety, told The Daily Beast.

June 6:  Boogaloo arrests reveal new extremist agenda to hijack protests, by Jesff German, Las Vegas Review-Journal

 

BibleBearerBarbieIvankaTrumpAtDonniesPhotoOp900wCaptioned25pct

 Original photo by Doug Mills, The New York Times

June 6:  Bonfire of Trump's Vanity, by Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

June 7:  Trump Gets His Wall.  

June 7:   Frank Serpico: A Letter Home, The Village Voice, February 3, 1975

In my experience, a good cop is a cop who can go before a court of law and tell the judge exactly the way it happened. That’s what a good cop is. But too many cops falsify arrests records, because they’re led to believe it’s essential in order to get a conviction, because the defendant is going to lie anyway, so they might as well lie, too. Well, the fact is, this type of behavior has brought about the distrust of the police by the society. A cop is just like President Ford. He is supposed to have the public trust. But in order to get the trust, he has to earn it. These days, neither cops nor presidents care enough to earn the trust of the public.

 

Some of the most honest cops I knew, men who wouldn’t take a nickel, men who were so righteous they wouldn’t even use profanity, they would never turn in another policeman. It was something you just didn’t do. It was supposed to be the responsibility of some higher agency. They made us believe there was a mysterious Boogeyman out there who would police the corruption. I say bullshit. It’s the responsibility of every man who wears that uniform. Any misdeed by any man in the blue uniform is a reflection not only on the department as a whole, but on the individual who witnesses it.

 

There isn’t any man on a white horse who’s going to make it good for us. It’s either we make it good, by ourselves, and for ourselves, or we may as well forget it.

Public Enemy:  By the Time I Get to Arizona

June 7:  Seattle BLM demonstrator shot by Man who drove his car into a protest crowd

SeattleCarRammingPhoto 2020 06 07 KATU

 

June 7:  #BREAKING: Witnesses say the car just plowed into the crowd on 11th Ave Capitol Hill near East Precinct. Driver got out and shot a man. Police have a suspect in custody. Victim expected to recover. By Jonathan Choe, KOMO News

June 7:  Romney joins the protest, by Michelle Boorstein 

RomneyMarchingPennAve 2020 06 07

 

June 7: Grieving mom demands answers after unarmed black motorist is shot 4 times and killed by New Jersey trooper on Garden State Parkway, by Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News

June 7:  10,000+ March in Hollywood,  KNBC4      Video

June 7:  A hopeful peace: While protests continue, Detroiters contemplate what it all means, by Nancy Kaffer, Georgea Kovanis and Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press

June 7:  New ICE immigrant prison proposed in Michigan stirs debate, by Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press

About two hours west of Detroit, just north of the 96 highway near a Menards store, sits 106 acres of farmland in Ionia Township.

 

On this spot, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and a private company, Immigration Centers of America (ICA), want to build a 152,000-square-foot prison that would house up to 600 male foreign-born detainees. The prisoners would only be those charged with civil violations of immigration law, awaiting their hearings, not those charged or convicted of criminal violations.

June 8:  Protesters congregate on night 11 at site of infamous killings in 1967, by Christina Hall and M.L. Elrick, Detroit Free Press 

June 8:  Police: Michigan man assaulted black teen with bike chain in 'racially motivated' attack, by Ray Kisonas, Monroe News

According to Maj. Jeff Kemp of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the incident began when two groups of people – one white, the other black – were swimming at the park’s beach. As they were emerging from the water, words were exchanged.

 

Kemp said as insults were exchanged, Mouat went to his car and retrieved a locking device used for bicycles. He approached the victim, called him the “N” word and struck him in the face with the lock. At that point, a melee ensued.

June 8:  Detroit police officer dies, three years after he was shot in the head, Associated Press

A Detroit police officer who was shot in the head in 2017 while responding to a domestic violence call has died.

 

The police department said Waldis Johnson's May 31 death was related to his injuries. Mayor Mike Duggan said Johnson had been in a coma.

 

"This is what these officers do. They put their lives on the line for us every day," Detroit Mayor Duggan said June 1 .

June 8:  Apologies, oversight and a promise mark 10th night of Detroit protests, by John Wisely, Angie Jackson and Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press

June 8:  These Terrified Black Americans Are Packing Heat, by David Dent, Daily Beast

June 8:  George Floyd Protests Peaceful Amid Calls to Defund the Police, by Kate Briquelet, Daily Beast

On Sunday protesters sang and danced in the streets as cities lifted curfews and sent home the National Guard.

June 8:  Army reverses course, will consider renaming bases named for Confederate leaders, by Lara Seligman, Politico

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is now "open" to renaming the service's 10 bases and facilities that are named after Confederate leaders, an Army spokesperson told POLITICO, in a reversal of the service's previous position.   Defense Secretary Mark Esper also supports the discussion, the spokesperson said.

 

The unrest sweeping the country over racial injustice comes as incidents of white nationalism within the ranks appear to be on the rise. A 2019 Military Times survey found that more than a third of troops who responded have seen evidence of white supremacist and racist ideologies in the military, a significant increase from the year before, when only 22 percent reported the same.

June 8:  Virginia Man Who Drove Truck Into Protest Says He’s A White Supremacist: Prosecutor, by Hayley Miller, HuffPost

“The accused, by his own admission and by a cursory glance at social media, is an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology.”

June 9:   New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster has today announced that Armed Response Teams (ARTs) will not be part of the New Zealand policing model in the future.

“It is clear to me that these response teams do not align with the style of policing that New Zealanders expect. We have listened carefully to that feedback and I have made the decision these teams will not be a part of our policing model in the future. As part of this, I want to reiterate that I am committed to New Zealand Police remaining a generally unarmed Police service.

June 9: The Cesspool That Spat Out Trump’s New Conspiracy About Cops, by Adam Rawnsley and Will Sommer, The Daily Beast

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted a conspiracy theory that originated on the site about Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old New York man who bled from his head after he was shoved down by Buffalo police officers while attending a protest. Trump claimed that Gugino, who remains in the hospital in serious but stable condition, wasn’t the peaceful protester he appeared to be but rather a potential “antifa provocateur” trying to “scan police communications in order to black out the equipment.”

 

“I watched, he fell harder than was pushed,” Trump tweeted. “Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”

 

The tweet was sparked by a segment on the Trump-fawning cable news network OAN, which was based on a blog post from The Conservative Treehouse. And it represented yet another instance of how the president’s penchant for uncritically amplifying those willing to flatter or absolve his views has vaulted the dregs of the Internet’s conspiracy theorists into national prominence.

 

The OAN segment was reported by Kristian Rouz, a Russian journalist who pulled double duty working for the Russian state propaganda channel Sputnik as well as OAN. In it, Rouz claimed Gugino was using “common antifa tactics” and that the incident was "a false flag provocation by far-left group antifa." He cited The Conservative Treehouse as evidence that Gugino was using a “police tracker” on his phone during the encounter.

June 9:  Black Liberty University Staffers Resign Over Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Racist Conduct, by Pilar Melendez, Daily Beast 

At least three black Liberty University employees have resigned directly as a result of President Jerry Falwell Jr.’s tweet in which he declared he would only wear a COVID-19 mask if it were one depicting the 1984 photo of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam allegedly wearing blackface. 

June 9:  Tulsa Oklahoma PD: Police Shoot Black Americans 'Less Than We Probably Ought To' by Chris Polansky, Public Radio Tulsa

Discussing nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, a white Tulsa Police Department major said Monday systemic racism in policing "just doesn't exist."

 

Speaking to talk radio host Pat Campbell on his podcast, TPD Maj. Travis Yates also suggested that, according to his interpretation of crime data, police should actually be shooting black Americans more frequently.

 

"You get this meme of, 'Blacks are shot two times, two and a half times more,' and everybody just goes, 'Oh, yeah,'" Yates said. "They're not making sense here. You have to come into contact with law enforcement for that to occur."

 

"If a certain group is committing more crimes, more violent crimes, and law enforcement is having to come into more contact with them, then that number is going to be higher. Who in the world in their right mind would think that our shootings should be right along the U.S. Census lines? That's insanity, right, but everyone's just buying off on this.

 

"And, by the way, all the research says — including Roland Fryer, an African American Harvard professor, Heather MacDonald, and the National Academy of Sciences, all of their research says we're shooting African Americans about 24% less than we probably ought to be based on the crimes being committed."

June 9:  Alleged boogaloo member called extreme threat; bail reduction denied, by Jeff German, Las Vegas Review-Journal

A Las Vegas judge Tuesday refused to reduce the $1 million bail for Stephen Parshall, one of three suspected members of the extremist boogaloo movement charged with conspiring to firebomb a power station.

June 9:  Florida Police Group President Suspended Over ‘Despicable’ Facebook Posts, by Josephine Harvey, HuffPost

The president of a Fraternal Order of Police chapter in Florida was suspended from his position at a sheriff’s office after he sent a Facebook post encouraging cops accused of misconduct in other cities to apply for jobs in Florida.

 

In a news conference Tuesday, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said Bert Gamin, a lieutenant at the agency and president of the Brevard County FOP, was suspended with pay while an internal investigation is conducted. Ivey called the posts “disgusting” and distanced his department from the FOP, a national organization representing about 330,000 law enforcement officers in more than 2,000 local lodges.

 

Gamin ignited an outcry over the weekend after posting several now-deleted messages on the Brevard County FOP Facebook page, including one that said: “Hey Buffalo 57 ... and Atlanta 6 ... we are hiring in Florida. Lower taxes, no spineless leadership or dumb mayors rambling on at press conferences ... Plus ... we got your back! #lawandorderFlorida.”

June 10:  Remember Neli Latson, the black teen with autism who seemed ‘suspicious’ sitting outside a library? Ten years after his arrest, he still isn’t fully free, by Theresa Vargas, The Washington Post

June 10:  Trump Pukes Out More Lurid Conspiracies as the People Steal His Spotlight, by Rick Wilson, Daily Beast

He’d rather focus on what happened in Buffalo than on the outrage of Bill Barr’s hodgepodge army attacking citizens in a public park to clear the way for his limp-dick photo-op.

 

It’s become a cliché to stare in mute horror at Donald Trump’s endless stream of Twitter vomit, wondering what chthonic god finds pleasure in watching us writhe as Trump brings out the very worst in his followers and new levels of willful ignorance from Republicans determined to see no evil, no matter how in their face that evil is.

 

It’s not as if the last few weeks haven’t been particularly lunatic, but Trump hit a home run in the shitbird derby Tuesday morning with his amplification of the truly bugfuck conspiracy theory that Martin Gugino of Buffalo, New York, a 75-year-old man now famous for being shoved to the ground by cops and left in serious condition, was—wait for it—an antifa supersoldier.

June 10:  What insanity did Kayleigh McEnany just suggest? by Eric Wemple, The Washington Post

June 10:  When Fox News disappoints, Trump has a backup: the conspiracy theory-peddling OANN, by Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post

June 10:  Here’s How We Seize the Moment George Floyd’s Murder Has Created, by Sophia A. Nelson, Daily Beast

“Let all the ends thou aimst at be thy Country’s, thy God’s, and Truth’s.

Be noble and the nobleness that lies in other men,

sleeping but never dead, will rise in majesty to meet thine own.”

—Inscription at Union Station, Washington, D.C. circa 1908

I remember first reading those words as a young congressional intern when I came to Washington, D.C. for the first time as a sophomore in high school. I have always held them close to my heart because they affirm that one man or woman can make a difference and in so doing, inspire others to follow.

June 10:  Trump’s Task Force Warns Governors of COVID Spike Tied to Protests, by Erin Banco, Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein, Daily Beast

Speaking via conference call, a recording of which The Daily Beast obtained, Deborah Birx, Trump’s coronavirus response coordinator, relayed fears that the yelling by protesters could potentially negate the health benefits of wearing a mask, and that the destruction of testing sites at those protests would set back efforts to contain the virus’ spread. Birx said 70 such sites had been destroyed, which had already resulted in an appreciable drop in testing rates there. She advised governors to “scramble now to make sure there is testing available in urban areas.”

 

Vice President Mike Pence, who hosted the call, bluntly conceded that protest-related infection spikes were “an issue our team is following and there is a concern.”

 

During the calls, Birx noted that while all states had dramatically increased testing, three states—California, Arizona, and North Carolina—had seen positive test results rise at the same time; an ominous sign about the virus’ trajectory. “That makes us quite concerned,” Birx said. Pointing specifically to increased cases in Phoenix, Charlotte, and in Salt Lake City, she said it was her belief that “there is active community spread in California, North Carolina, Utah, and Arizona.”

June 10:  NASCAR bans display of Confederate flag at all events and properties, by Liz Clarke and Des Bieler, The Washington Post

NASCAR, the uniquely American form of stock-car racing that has celebrated its Southern roots since its formation 72 years ago, announced Wednesday it is banning displays of the Confederate flag at all of its events and properties.

 

The move came two days after Bubba Wallace, the lone African American driver in the sport’s elite Cup Series, called for NASCAR to ban displays of the flag during a televised interview with CNN’s Don Lemon.

 

In announcing the ban, NASCAR issued the following statement: “The presence of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special.”

 

In 2015, then-NASCAR chairman Brian France, whose grandfather formed the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing in 1948, urged fans to refrain from displaying Confederate flags at the sport’s tracks following the shooting death of nine African Americans at a South Carolina church.

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr., then the sport’s most popular driver, spoke out against displays of the flag as well.  “I think it’s offensive to an entire race,” Earnhardt said at the time. “It does nothing for anybody to be there flying, so I don’t see any reason. It belongs in the history books, and that’s about it."

 

BubbaWallaceNo43 700w50pct

June 10:  NASCAR's Bubba Wallace to Race in ‘Black Lives Matter’ Car After Asking for Confederate Flag Ban, by Jason Duaine Hahn, People 

Last week, Wallace wore a Black Lives Matter-themed shirt during a pre-race ceremony in Atlanta, then called on NASCAR to eliminate Confederate battle flags from all of its race tracks.

 

"My next step would be to get rid of all Confederate flags," Wallace told CNN on Monday. "No one should feel uncomfortable when they come to a NASCAR race."

 

The flag — which was used by the Confederate States of America before its downfall in 1865 — has "served as a potent symbol of slavery and white supremacy, which has caused it to be very popular among white supremacists," according to the Anti-Defamation League.

June 10:  Black Lives Matter, the organization

June 10:  Alleged boogaloo members ordered detained in federal custody, by Jeff German, Las Vegas Review-Journal

June 10:  Why Minneapolis Was the Breaking Point, by Wesley Lowery, The Atlantic 

Within hours, the whole world had seen the video: Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin driving his knee into the neck of 46-year-old George Floyd, not only until Floyd died but for minutes after his life had been extinguished. What came next was a national crisis.

 

When I first sat down to begin writing this story, parts of many American cities were on fire and police officers in dozens of places were committing indiscriminate acts of violence—unleashing tear gas, rubber bullets, and worse—against the citizenry they had sworn an oath to serve and protect. Elected officials were pleading for peace as parts of their cities burned and the nation, watching in real time on television, asked “Why?”

June 10:  ‘Gone With the Wind’ will probably be back on HBO Max next week, with an African American scholar at the front of it, by Steven Zeitchik, The Washington Post

June 11:  Federal Arrests Show No Sign that Antifa Plotted Protests, by Neil MacFarquhar, Alan Feuer and Adam Goldman, The New York Times

Despite claims by President Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr, there is scant evidence that loosely organized anti-fascists are a significant player in protests.

 

The most serious case that has emerged in federal court involved three men in Nevada linked to a loose, national network of far-right extremists advocating for the overthrow of the U.S. government. They were arrested on May 30 on charges of trying to foment violence during Black Lives Matter protests.  The complaint filed in U.S. District Court said the three suspects called themselves members of the “boogaloo,” which is described as a far-right movement “to signify a coming civil war and/or fall of civilization.”

 

“A significant number of people in positions of authority are pushing a false narrative about antifa being behind a lot of this activity,” said J.M. Berger, the author of the book “Extremism,” and an authority on militant movements. “These are just unbelievably large protests at a time of great turmoil in this country, and there is surprisingly little violence given the size of this movement.”

 

In July 2019, Christopher Wray, the F.B.I. director, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the agency “considers antifa more of an ideology than an organization.”

June 10:  ‘Horrified’ Missouri newspaper owners resign over ‘racist’ police cartoon — published by their dad, by Michael Cavna, The Washington Post

Co-owners of the Washington Missourian in Franklin County, Mo., resigned in protest Wednesday over the newspaper’s decision to publish a syndicated cartoon that satirizes the defunding of police departments.

 

“We believe it was racist and in no circumstance should have been published,” Susan Miller Warden and Jeanne Miller Wood wrote about the cartoon in a message to readers. “We apologize to our readers and our staff for the obvious pain and offense it caused.”

 

That choice to publish was made by their father.

 

In the cartoon, by Tom Stiglich of Creators Syndicate, a light-skinned woman screams, “Help!! Somebody call 911!” A darker-skinned man who is attempting to snatch her purse says: “Good luck with that, lady. ... We defunded the police,” a reference to a proposal that some activists have put forward to reform law enforcement.

June 10:  Beleaguered and besieged, police try to come to grips with a nation’s anger, by Griff Witte and Nick Miroff, The Washington Post

June 10:  George Floyd’s brother came to Washington to speak. But his power was in the silences, by Robin Givhan, The Washington Post

June 10:  Know The Signs: How to tell if your grandparent has become an antifa agent, by Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post

June 10:  Christopher Columbus statues toppled in Minnesota, beheaded in Boston, attacked in Richmond, by Lateshia Beachum, Laura Vozzella and Derek Hawkins, Washington Post

Here are the indigenous people Christopher Columbus and his men could not annihilate, by Gillian Brockell, 10/14/2019, The Washington Post

Columbus and his crew searched and searched for gold to no avail, so they filled their ships with something else they could sell: people. Of the 500 Taíno they took — selected because they were the strongest and healthiest specimens — 200 died on the voyage to Spain. Many more died once they had been sold into slavery.

 

So Columbus tried again for gold, but this time he and his men didn’t go looking for it. They ordered all Taíno people 14 and older to deliver a certain amount of gold dust every three months. If they didn’t, their hands would be cut off.

 

At this point, the Taíno were refusing to grow crops, and those who didn’t bleed to death after their hands were removed began to die of famine and disease. When they fled into the mountains, they were hunted down by dogs. Many killed themselves with cassava poison.

 

Columbus’s men also continued to sexually abuse Taíno women and girls. In 1500, Columbus wrote to an acquaintance that “there are many dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to 10 are now in demand.”

June 11:  Public Map of all known monuments to the Confederacy, a google map. 

June 11:  Whose Heritage: 1,747 Public Symbols of the Confederacy, by the Southern Poverty Law Center 

June 11:  Pentagon’s top general apologizes for appearing alongside Trump in Lafayette Square, by Dan LaMothe, The Washington Post

Milley advised the students that it is important to keep “a keen sense of situational awareness” and that he had failed to do so as he walked from Lafayette Square in combat fatigues alongside the president, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and other senior advisers.

 

“As many of you saw the results of the photograph of me in Lafayette Square last week, that sparked a national debate about the role of the military in civil society,” Milley said. “I should not have been there. My presence in that moment, and in that environment, created the perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”

 

In a scathing message, Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general, blasted the president for working to divide the country and took exception to the events in Lafayette Square. Mattis was motivated to write in part because he was appalled by the appearance of Milley in an event that critics said made it look as though Trump could use the military as a political club against opponents, several people close to Mattis told The Washington Post.

 

Milley’s apology came at the end of a speech in which he decried the “senseless, brutal killing” of Floyd, a black man who died in custody after a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The incident was captured on video and has prompted protests around the globe about police brutality and racism.

 

“His death amplified the pain, the frustration, the fear that so many of our fellow Americans live with day in and day out,” Milley said. “The protests that have ensued speak not only to his killing, but to the centuries of injustice toward African Americans." 

June 11:  Trump won’t rename Army posts that honor Confederates. Here’s why they’re named after traitors, by Alex Horton, The Washington Post

June 11:   The moment Ohio state senator Steve Huffman asked if the "colored population" has a higher rate of COVID-19 because they don't wash their hands as much, Twitter

June 11, 1963:  Governor George Wallace tries to block entrance of two African American students at University of Alabama—confronted by JFK’s Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, who implores him to “do your Constitutional duty”— today in 1963, Michael Beschloss, Presidental Historian.

June 11:  WATCH: Liberty University basketball player leaving the school due to ‘racial insensitivities’ among its leadership, by Sky Palma, RawStory 

June 11:  Gym Apologizes For 'I Can't Breathe' Workout, by Ed Scarce, Crooks and Liars 

June 11:  The Endless Call - a Photo essay by David Montgomery

Ninety-nine years ago in Tulsa, white mobs torched the black side of town and killed as many as 300 residents, with the tacit support of some in law enforcement, in one of the worst spasms of racial violence in American history. Last month in Minneapolis, George Floyd died with a police officer’s knee pressed to his neck, just days ahead of the May 31-June 1 anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Those two episodes bookend nearly a century in which civil rights progress has been fitful, hard-fought and unfinished. Across 10 decades, from Tulsa to today — against a backdrop of lynching and cross burning, more recently replaced by police chokeholds and vigilante gunshots, amid the subtler violence of systemic racism — voices have been raised in protest and defiance.

 

Words spoken in times of uplift or assault, hope or despair, can crystallize a moment or a movement: I have a dream. ... Black Power. ... I can’t breathe. Black Lives Matter. The voices collected here elaborate and extend the mantras, such as Langston Hughes versifying his insistence that America live up to its myth, and James Baldwin defining protest as a duty.

June 11:  ‘This is not a game’: Trump threatens to ‘take back’ Seattle as protesters set up ‘autonomous zone’, by Tim Elfrink and Marisa Iati, The Washington Post 

June 11:  A black protester’s pain: Handcuffed by police at 9, hit by a rubber bullet at 22, by Michael E. Miller, The Washington Post 

June 11:  As D.C. protests continue, preparations begin for massive march on Washington in August, by Marissa J. Lang and Emily Davies, The Washington Post

June 11:  South Carolina newspaper apologizes for ‘offensive’ cartoon satirizing the ‘black community’ and Democrats, by Michael Cavna, The Washington Post

June 11:  Chicago police officers napped in office amid looting, congressman says, by Mark Guarino, The Washington Post

CHICAGO — Thirteen Chicago police officers were caught on video relaxing in the South Side office of Rep. Bobby L. Rush without his knowledge two weekends ago as looting took place outside the door during protests over George Floyd’s death, Rush said.

 

At a news conference Thursday, the Democratic congressman said he had already delivered the security footage to Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) and the head of police. The footage shows officers sleeping, lounging on a sofa and talking on their cellphones during the same overnight hours when looting and violence were taking place at the outdoor mall where Rush’s office is located.

 

“They even had the unmitigated gall to go and make coffee for themselves and pop some popcorn, my popcorn, in my microwave while looters were tearing apart businesses within their sight, within their reach. And they were in a mood of relaxation, and they did not care about what was happening to the businesspeople in this city,” Rush said. “They didn’t care. They absolutely didn’t care.”

June 11:  Tim Scott, only black GOP senator, seeks to answer national call to end racist policing, by Mike DeBonis and Seung Min Kim, The Washington Post 

June 11:  ‘Even now the line I’m pushing may not be radical enough’: Ice-T on protests, police brutality and ‘Cop Killer’ 28 years later, by Helena Andrews-Dyer, The Washington Post

Nearly three decades ago, Ice and his heavy metal band Body Count recorded a song called “Cop Killer,” about a man fed up with police brutality, that threw gasoline on the already raging rap culture wars. In 2017, Body Count released the song “No Lives Matter,” about racism and classism in America. In between messages, Ice has spent 21 years playing NYPD Detective Fin Tutuola on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” And last month, the Grammy winner executive-produced and acted in “Equal Standard,” a movie available to rent online about a black cop shooting a white cop and the ensuing community fallout. “It costs nine dollars, but you spend that on Starbucks so stop playing,” Ice said.

 

Obama was the first hip-hop president. Hip-hop put him in office. The music we made let white people know that we’re not the enemy. Their parents tried to push that racist agenda. The fear of hip-hop wasn’t me and Treach fighting, it was their little white daughter taking down that New Kids on the Block poster and putting Treach up over their princess bedroom set. Unity has always been the fear. I think what got Trump in the White House was Black Lives Matter. Because it scared the s--- out of folks. It scared white people to the ballot box.

Ice-T:  I'm Your Pusher, 1988

June 11:  NYPD Cop Who Kneeled At Protest Apologizes To Fellow Officers, by David Moye, HuffPost

Lt. Robert Cattani of the NYPD’s Midtown South Precinct was one of four officers who took a knee at a May 30 protest march in Foley Square.

 

While the gesture was interpreted as an olive branch to the community, Cattani told fellow officers that he regrets his “horrible decision to give into a crowd of protesters’ demands.”

 

Cattani sent an apology email to his fellow officers on June 3 in which he said “the cop in me wants to kick my own ass,” according to the New York Post.

June 11:   NY Police Union Boss Demands Respect For Officers After Brutal Protest Crackdowns, by David Moye, HuffPost

“You know what? This isn’t stained by someone in Minneapolis,” O’Meara said, holding up his badge. “It’s still got a shine on it, and so do theirs.” He then gestured to the all-white crew of officers behind him.

June 11:  It’s Time To Defund The Police And Start Funding Social Workers, by Sharon Kwon, HuffPost Personal

“So far there have been zero deaths at the hands of social workers.”

 June 11:  Breonna Taylor Was Killed By Police. Their Report Lists Her Injuries As ‘None,’ by Mareina Fang, HuffPost

Police in Louisville, Kentucky, where Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was fatally shot on March 13, have released their report on the incident. It is essentially blank and incorrectly states key details.

 

The four-page incident report from the Louisville Metro Police Department, published Wednesday by the Louisville Courier-Journal, lists the injuries Taylor suffered as “none.” That is false: Police shot her at least eight times, before she died in a pool of blood on the floor of her apartment.

 

It also incorrectly states that there was no forced entry, even though officers entered Taylor’s apartment by using a battering ram after obtaining a “no-knock” search warrant linked to a drug investigation involving a suspect whom police believed was using her address.

 

The three officers involved in the incident and the detective who requested the search warrant have been reassigned. Nearly three months after Taylor died, they still have yet to be arrested or charged. Taylor would have turned 27 last Friday.

 

Read more from the Courier-Journal here.

June 11:  Breonna's Law:  No-Knock / Quick Knock warrants banned by Louisville, Kentucky Metro Council, by Lucas Aulbach, Ben Tobin, Emma Austin, Sarah Ladd, Cameron Teague Robinson and Olivia Krauth, The Louisville Courier Journal

June 11:  Richmond’s Confederate Monuments Were Used to Sell a Segregated Neighborhood, by Kevin M. Levin, The Atlantic

The Confederate monuments dedicated throughout the South from 1880 to 1930 were never intended to be passive commemorations of a dead past; rather, they helped do the work of justifying segregation and relegating African Americans to second-class status. Monument Avenue was unique in this regard. While most monuments were added to public spaces such as courthouse squares, parks, and intersections, Monument Avenue was conceived as part of the initial plans for the development of the city’s West End neighborhood—a neighborhood that explicitly barred black Richmonders.

 

Real-estate companies also reassured potential buyers through restrictive covenants that “no lots can ever be sold or rented in MONUMENT AVENUE PARK to any person of African descent.” This was a reassuring message for white Richmonders during a time of unrest and uncertainty. Business and civic leaders worried about labor activism among the city’s black tobacco workers and elsewhere during this period of industrial expansion. Many still recalled with horror the brief but consequential period from 1879 to 1883, in which a biracial party known as the Readjusters controlled the wheels of government throughout the city and state. Large numbers of black Virginians voted, attended public schools, and were elected to local and state positions, all under the leadership of the former Confederate general William Mahone.

 

Monumental Bronze 721x525

June 11:  Confederate statues: In 2020, a renewed battle in America’s enduring Civil War, by Marc Fisher, The Washington Post

Many Southern towns bought cheap zinc statues from Monumental Bronze Co. in Bridgeport, Conn. The company offered representations of Civil War soldiers, Union or Confederate, whichever the customer preferred, for $450. The United Daughters of the Confederacy raised the money to fund an unprecedented monument boom.

 

Why those Confederate soldier statues look a lot like their Union counterparts, by Marc Fisher, The Washington Post, 8/18/2017

 

It turns out that a campaign in the late 19th century to memorialize the Civil War by erecting monuments was not only an attempt to honor Southern soldiers or white supremacy. It was also a remarkably successful bit of marketing sleight of hand in which New England monument companies sold the same statues to towns and citizens groups on both sides of the Civil War divide.

 

Southern communities were generally quiet about the source of their Confederate statues. The United Daughters of the Confederacy had little choice but to buy from the North — or from Europe — because that’s where the foundries were; for decades after the war, the South was still battle-ravaged and almost uniformly agricultural.

 

The Confederate monument boom was driven almost entirely by women. “It was politically dicey for Confederate veterans to be seen as advocating for their former cause,” Beetham said. “The men want to be able to own property. They want to be able to vote. They can only do that if they’ve clearly laid down their arms and sworn allegiance to the United States. Women don’t have to worry about any of that — they can’t own property, they can’t vote. So they hide behind their femininity and say, ‘We just want a monument to have a place to lay our flowers.’ ”

June 11:  Gen. Milley’s apology shows respect for the principles Trump tramples on, The Editorial Board, The Washington Post

June 11:  Trump might go down in history as the last president of the Confederacy, by Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post

When it was reported that high-ranking Army officials are open to stripping the names of Confederate generals from military posts such as Fort Bragg, Fort Benning and Fort Hood, Trump reacted instantly. He tweeted Wednesday that he “will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”

 

Trump claimed, ridiculously, that the names are somehow part of the nation’s “history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom.” He may be historically ignorant enough not to know that the generals in question were traitors as famous for the battles they lost as for any of their triumphs; that ultimate victory went to the Union, not the Confederacy; and that the whole point of the rebellion was to deny freedom to African Americans. Or he may know these facts but believe his political base doesn’t.

 

Just hours later, however, NASCAR banned the Confederate flag. If there is one sporting venue that Trump might think of as a safe space, it would be a NASCAR race — until now. Heck, I might even go watch a race when the pandemic ends.

 

Trump must be bewildered. Unsubtle appeals to racial animus (remember his “birther” lies) have always worked for him in the past, but now he seems to be flailing. If it turns out that the Lost Cause is finally, truly lost, then so is the president who made himself its champion.

 

Jefferson Davis: The Confederacy’s first, worst and only president, by Avi Selk, The Washington Post, 5/11/2017

June 11:  From the Civil War to the football field, we have been celebrating the wrong values, by Sally Jenkins, Washington Post

It’s not really your fault if you don’t know who Hallowell was. His life and slim writings largely have been buried by “Gone With the Wind” nonsense. They should be revived and made required reading in locker rooms. Maybe then there wouldn’t be so many misconceptions about what constitute guts. Or such a romance with that over-glossed traitor Robert E. Lee and all the other Reb glorification that has haunted our sports fields, police stations, military bases and halls of justice.

June 11:  When black people are in pain, white people just join book clubs, by Tre Johnson, The Washington Post

I am also experiencing another time loop, though. Once again, as the latest racial travesty pierces our collective consciousness, I watch many of my white friends and acquaintances perform the same pieties they played out after Trayvon, Eric, Sandra, Korryn, Botham, Breonna. They are savvy, practiced consumers of Meaningful Things: They’ve listened to “Serial” and become expert critics of our broken criminal justice system after just one season. They’ve watched “Insecure” and can suddenly imagine life as Molly or Issa. They’ve shared the preordained “amplifying” social media post that just reads “This,” followed by a link to something profound from a black voice.

 

This is all to say that when things get real — really murderous, really tragic, really violent or aggressive — my white, liberal, educated friends already know what to do. What they do is read. And talk about their reading. What they do is listen. And talk about how they listened.

June 12:  Police seeking charges against person who tweeted 'first city to burn...should be Howell' - Kayla Daughtery, Livingston Daily

Howell Police are seeking charges against the person who tweeted, "The first city to burn in michigan should be Howell, all in favor say I," late last month. The Twitter account has since been deleted.

 

"She was calling to burn our city...," said Howell Police Chief Scott Mannor.  He said his department requested general threat charges from the Livingston County Prosecutors Office but would like to see the individual charged with making a terrorist threat.

June 12:  In Richmond, Va., Protestors Transform A Confederate Statue, by Sarah McCammon, NPR Michigan Radio 

June 12:  The most racist president in modern history revels in violence, by Colbert I. King, The Washington Post 

Let’s return to a gathering of law enforcement officers at Suffolk County Community College on New York’s Long Island on July 28, 2017, where the main speaker was giving advice to police on how to treat people who’ve been arrested.

 

“When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over?” the speaker said, mimicking the motion of police shielding a suspect’s head to keep it from bumping against the squad car.

 

“Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody — don’t hit their head,” the speaker continued. “I said, you can take the hand away, okay?”

 

Cops standing behind the speaker applauded, and some smiled and chuckled when the speaker turned to face them. Others in the audience also cheered and applauded.

 

Who was at the lectern giving cops a green light to use unnecessary force? Who was encouraging them to be rough with people they arrest? Who suggested it is okay for police to use more force than is reasonably necessary to arrest or gain control of a suspect — something that is irresponsible, unprofessional and illegal?

 

The speaker was Donald Trump, the president of the United States. 

June 12:  As crises multiply, Trump’s Senate allies respond: But her emails! By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post

June 12:  Trump downplays concerns of Pentagon’s top general about church photo, calls it a ‘beautiful picture’, by John Wagner, The Washington Post 

“I think it was a beautiful picture,” Trump told Fox News. “I’ll tell you, I think Christians think it was a beautiful picture.” 

June 12:   Pinckney protest against racism draws some racist responses, many supporters, by Jennifer Timar, Livingston Daily

She estimated that more than half of responses from motorists and people walking were positive.

 

"It's been about 40% negative, because a lot of people drive by and scream something at us. There have been Confederate flags," Williams said.

 

"This town, Brighton and Howell are known as 'sundown towns,' where black people know you aren't supposed to go out after dark."

June 13:  Trump reschedules Juneteenth rally in Tulsa amid criticism, by John Wagner, The Washington Post

June 13:  Controversial memorials are surprisingly easy to pull down. Fixing the world that built them is harder. by Maura Judkis, The Washington Post

On Wednesday afternoon, Mike Forcia drove to a Twin Cities-area Home Depot to buy two ropes — one black, one yellow, both nylon — to be delivered to the Minnesota State Capitol grounds in St. Paul and tied around Christopher Columbus’s neck. The statue of the Italian explorer was placed there in 1931 to commemorate, according to its plaque, “the merging of the cultures of the old and new worlds,” a colorful euphemism for the conquest of indigenous people. Then, at Forcia’s command, 20 Native American activists in a crowd of about 200 took the ropes and began to pull.

 

It took only two minutes of pulling before Columbus discovered the sidewalk.

The indigenous people Christopher Columbus and his men could not annihilate, by Gillian Brockell, 10/14/2019, The Washington Post

Bartolomé de las Casas arrived in Hispaniola in 1502, when he was 18. For decades, he participated in the mistreatment of the Taíno and the introduction of enslaved Africans, before renouncing it all, becoming a Dominican friar and confessing what he had witnessed in “A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies.”

It is worth quoting him at length. This excerpt is very graphic:

“They [Spanish explorers] forced their way into native settlements, slaughtering everyone they found there, including small children, old men, pregnant women, and even women who had just given birth. They hacked them to pieces, slicing open their bellies with their swords as though they were so many sheep herded into a pen. They even laid wagers on whether they could slice a man in two at a stroke, or cut an individual’s head from his body, or disembowel him with a single blow of their axes. They grabbed suckling infants by the feet and, ripping them from their mothers’ breasts, dashed them headlong against the rocks. Others, laughing and joking all the while, threw them over their shoulders, shouting, ‘Wriggle, you little perisher.’

When las Casas wrote this in 1542, there were only 200 Taíno left on Hispaniola. Across the Caribbean, he claimed the Spanish were responsible for the deaths of 12 to 15 million indigenous people. 

June 13:  Scant evidence of antifa shows how sweeping the protests for racial justice have become, by Isaac Stanley-Becker, The Washington Post

Federal and local arrest records in dozens of cities make virtually no mention of antifa. Law enforcement officials who had braced for the purported invasion of antifa militants in cities large and small now mostly acknowledge the threat has not appeared.

 

The reason, according to local leaders familiar with antifa as well as activists who became its public face, is that the demonstrations in recent weeks bear little resemblance to earlier battles between right-wing extremists and left-wing militants. Those skirmishes reached a fever pitch with the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, and also rattled cities from Washington to Berkeley, Calif.

 

Now, something bigger is underway, they say.

 

In the crowd of thousands recently filling the streets of Berkeley, many might align themselves against fascism, observed the city’s mayor, Jesse Arreguín. Meaning: They distrust centralized control in the hands of leaders who vilify outsiders and crush opposition.

 

The absence of antifa from protests roiling Berkeley — a crucible of left-wing activism — is a sign, Arreguín said, of the scale and possible significance of the protests. They are not driven by left-wing zealots, he said, but by multiracial and multigenerational crowds seeking a reckoning with systemic problems of racism and policing.

 

“Anti-fascist protesters thought that because of the threat that white supremacists and fascists brought to their communities, particularly after the deadly events in Charlottesville in 2017, that they had to defend themselves,” Arreguín said. “This is very different. This is about something bigger.”

 

The difference was expressed another way by Yvette Felarca, a Berkeley middle school teacher charged in 2017 with felony assault for allegedly punching a man with a neo-Nazi flag. (The assault charge was later dropped.)

 

“Trump has turned everybody into antifascists,” Felarca said. “There’s no organization called ‘antifa.’ It was always just people prepared to take action against fascism. It turns out, that’s a lot of people.”

June 14:  Officials familiar with Lafayette Square confrontation challenge Trump administration claim of what drove aggressive expulsion of protesters, by Aaron C. Davis, Carol D. Leonnig, Josh Dawsey and Devlin Barrett, The Washington Post 

June 14:  A Sunset Boulevard Demonstration March 

June 14:  A Brooklyn NY Demonstration

June 14:  Charges filed after man allegedly tried to drive through protesters in Overton Square, WREG3 Memphis

June 15:  What Is Tear Gas? Does It Work? Can It Cause Permanent Harm? By Janice Chambers, Mississippi State University (via SciTechDaily) 

The 1993 International Chemical Weapons Convention, Geneva banned tear gas from being used where military forces are at war. However, a number of countries, including the U.S., have approved the use of tear gas for civilian riot control and for crowd control of non-military persons.

June 15:   Supreme Court refuses to reconsider immunity that shields police accused of brutality, by Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, The Washington Post

The justices declined to hear eight separate cases presenting reconsideration of the doctrine of qualified immunity that establishes protection from lawsuits for government officials, particularly police officers.

 

Justice Clarence Thomas issued a six-page dissent, calling on his colleagues to revisit the protections and expressing “strong doubts” about the court’s approach to qualified immunity.

 

Justice Sotomayor: The court “routinely displays an unflinching willingness” to reverse lower courts that do not give an officer qualified immunity, “but rarely intervenes where courts wrongly afford officers the benefit of qualified immunity in these same cases,” she wrote. “Such a one-sided approach to qualified immunity transforms the doctrine into an absolute shield for law enforcement officers.”

On the flip side:

June 15: Supreme Court passes up challenges from gun groups on laws they say violate Second Amendment, by Robert Barnes, The Washington Post

[Editor:  Gun nuts are assholes.  It's that simple.  The 2nd Amendment has never been endangered. It never will be.  What's in danger are the empty lives of obsessive-compulsive gun hoarders, preppers whose anti-government action-plans won't survive the first gas station closure, and strutting, primping, open-carry bullies torn between their fear of black helicopters and their fear of sharing this nation with black citizens.]

June 15:  2,000 more lynching victims brought to light in EJI's new Reconstruction era report, by Safiya Charles, Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser 

June 16:  Shelby Twp. police chief suspended for 30 days, keeps job, by Sarah Rahal and Mark hicks, The Detroit News

In one comment, Chief Shelide agreed with President Donald Trump that military action should be used to deal with rowdy protests and tweeted to the Brooklyn district attorney: “Shutup you libtard. Go bury your head."

June 16:  Buffalo protester Martin Gugino has a fractured skull and cannot walk, by Jacqueline Rose and Eric Levenson, CNN

"I am not at liberty to elaborate at this time other than to confirm that his skull was fractured," Gugino's attorney Kelly Zarcone said. "While he is not able to walk yet, we were able to have a short conversation before he became too tired. He is appreciative of all of the concern about him but he is still focused on the issues rather than himself."

 

CNN has not been able to speak with Gugino directly, but in her press statement, Zarcone passed along a message from him: "I think it's very unnecessary to focus on me. There are plenty of other things to think about besides me."

June 16:  Suspect in killing of 2 Bay Area officers tied to right-wing ‘boogaloo’ group, prosecutors allege, by Maura Dolan, Richard Winton and Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times

OAKLAND — When sheriff‘s deputies searched a white van on June 6 in a wooded hamlet in Santa Cruz County, they found ammunition, firearms, bomb-making equipment — and a ballistic vest with a curious patch.


The patch contained an igloo and Hawaiian-style print, markings associated with a growing, extremist, anti-government movement aimed at fomenting unrest and another civil war.

 

On Tuesday, federal law enforcement officials announced they were charging Air Force Sgt. Steven Carrillo, 32, the alleged owner of that vest, and suspected accomplice Robert A. Justus Jr., 30, of Millbrae in the May 29 shooting death of a federal security officer in Oakland.

Officials said Carrillo, who also faces state charges in the June 6 killing of a Santa Cruz sheriff deputy, was a follower of the “boogaloo” movement, which a federal complaint said is not a fixed group but includes people who identify themselves as militia and target perceived government tyranny.

 

The security officers were shot while guarding a federal building in downtown Oakland during a protest over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The pair used the protest as a cover for their plans to attack law enforcement, said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jack Bennett.

 

“There is no evidence that these men had any intention to join the demonstration in Oakland,” Bennett said at a Tuesday news conference. “They came to Oakland to kill cops.”

 

Brian Levin, executive director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, said Carrillo’s posts on social media, including Facebook, had become increasingly disturbing during the days before the Oakland shooting.

 

Levin said the center’s research shows there have been 27 far-right extremist-connected homicides in the U.S. since 2019. That number doesn’t include the most recent Bay Area killings. The FBI arrested three devotees of the boogaloo movement in Nevada recently, and they were charged with inciting violence with the use of Molotov cocktails at protests.

 

Levin said boogaloo followers range from ultra-libertarians to white supremacists, but they all share a belief in a second civil war coming.

“They are 2nd Amendment insurrectionists,” Levin said. “The boogaloo boys believe in armed insurrection and include attacks on the police.”

June 16:  A tiny Ohio town’s Black Lives Matter event was overrun by armed counterprotesters, by Hannah Knowles, The Washington Post

Bethel, Ohio: The 80 or so expected Black Lives Matter demonstrators ended up dwarfed Sunday afternoon by some 700 counterprotesters — motorcycle gangs, “back the blue” groups and proponents of the Second Amendment, village officials said. Some carried rifles, a local news station reported, while others brought baseball bats and clubs. Police say they are investigating about 10 “incidents” from the clashes that followed, including a demonstrator being punched in the head.

 

By 2 p.m., an hour before the demonstration was set to begin, the bikers had started to arrive, the village of Bethel said in a statement. Soon, the statement said, about 250 motorcycles had taken up the space intended for the Black Lives Matter event, pushing those demonstrators two blocks away.

 

One video, which the poster said showed his “niece getting pummeled by bikers,” captured an altercation in the crowd amid chants of “Blue lives matter!” and “All lives matter!”

 

“This ain’t Seattle!” a man yells in another video. “We’re not in a Democratic state here!”

 

 

 

 

New Mexico Civil Militia cuffed and litter

June 16:  Former city council candidate arrested after man is shot at New Mexico protest with militia group, by Matt Zapotosky,
Abigail Hauslohner, Hannah Knowles and Katie Shepherd, The Washington Post

Police charged Baca with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a felony, according to a criminal complaint. Baca’s longtime girlfriend, Jacqueline Valdez, confirmed Tuesday that Baca has an attorney, but she declined to give the lawyer’s name or offer other details.

 

Authorities said Scott Williams, 39, was the victim. Laura Schauer Ives, an attorney for his family, said Williams remains in a hospital.

June 16:  A Virginia incident reflects the reality of being black in America, Editorial Board, The Washington Post

The Virginia incident took place June 1 in Shenandoah County, an overwhelmingly white area 100 miles west of Washington, where Mr. McCray had confronted two people at an apartment he owns, neither one his tenant, who were dumping a refrigerator on his property. He asked them to leave. One of them returned shortly afterward with three others who he says surrounded, jostled, threatened and taunted him with racist abuse — black lives, they said, don’t matter in Shenandoah County.

 

Alarmed, Mr. McCray drew his handgun, a weapon he carries legally, keeping them at bay while he called 911. Yet when sheriff’s deputies arrived, it was the black pastor they handcuffed, not his white assailants. “I felt literally like I had been lynched without being killed,” Mr. McCray, who said he had no criminal record, told his congregation in a sermon two Sundays ago at his Lighthouse Church & Marketplace Ministries International in Woodstock, Va.

June 17:  Cassandra Fairbanks ​Claims Antifa Attacked Her​. Police Reports and Neighbors Say Otherwise, by Jared Holt, Right Wing Watch

Fairbanks is a writer and activist who has been employed by the Russian government-funded media outlet Sputnik​, as well as far-right outlets​ like Big League Politics and The Gateway Pundit, where she is currently a contributor. ​A leftist libertarian turned pro-Trump social media ​star​, ​Fairbanks has deep ties to Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange.​​ Over the last year, Fairbanks has positioned herself as a vocal supporter of the extremist right, appearing on podcasts with ​such far-right media figures as VDARE’s Peter Brimelow and attending a ​gathering​ hosted by white nationalists during this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference in the Washington​, D.C. area. Fairbanks, who has more than 220,000 ​Twitter followers, has defended white supremacists and shared racist sentiments on Twitter.

June 18:  Zuckerberg says he's ‘disgusted’ by Trump’s rhetoric. It’s just crocodile tears, by Joe Scarborough, The Washington Post

June 18:  State worker who threatened Howell should be 'first city to burn' won’t lose her job, by Kayla Daugherty, Livingston Daily

June 19:  We figured out when the MAGA crowd thought America was great, by Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post

It seems the leader of the MAGA crowd would be most at home when the Confederacy was still revered (by racists who promulgated the “Lost Cause” nonsense), when scientists lacked the ability to contradict him and when only certain kinds of voters (his) could manage to cast their ballots.

June 19:  Leaked document makes Trump campaign’s use of Nazi-era symbol look worse, by Greg Sargent, The Washington Post

President Trump’s campaign is under fire for employing a symbol once used by Nazis in a new batch of Facebook ads — a red inverted triangle that appeared alongside a warning about the dire threat posed by “antifa,” a loose motley group allied against neo-fascist activity.

 

An internal Department of Homeland Security document — which I obtained from a congressional source — makes the Trump campaign’s use of this symbol, and its justification for it, look a whole lot worse, by undercutting the claim that antifa represents any kind of threat in the first place.

 

The DHS document defines “anti-government extremists” as motivated by "their belief that their liberties are being taken away by the perceived unconstitutional or otherwise illegitimate actions of government officials or law enforcement.”

 

Notably, the continuing threat to law enforcement has been thrust to the forefront by the charging of Steven Carrillo for the alleged killing of one security officer and the wounding of another. Carrillo is an alleged adherent of the “boogaloo boys,” an extremist movement trying to exploit protests to incite race war.

 

The DHS document actually does cite the “Boogaloo movement” as a threat in this context. It notes that Carrillo is likely associated with it, defining it as “a term used by some violent extremists from a variety of movements who seek to incite a race war or the collapse of society.”

 

Similarly, another leaked intelligence document earlier this month assessed the greatest threat as coming from “lone offenders with racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist ideologies,” not from antifa.

June 19:  Intel report warns that far-right extremists may target Washington, D.C., by Natasha Bertrand, Politico

The Trump administration is warning law enforcement and public safety officials that a far-right extremist movement known as “boogaloo” may be setting its sights on the nation’s capital.

 

On Monday, the National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium (NTIC), a fusion center for Washington, D.C. that provides support to federal national security and law enforcement agencies, warned in an intelligence assessment that “the District is likely an attractive target for violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology due to the significant presence of US law enforcement entities, and the wide range of First Amendment-Protected events hosted here.” 

 

Participants in the boogaloo movement generally identify as anarchist, pro-Second Amendment members of citizen-militias who are preparing for a second Civil War or American revolution, extremism experts say. Several boogaloo adherents have been charged in recent weeks for acts ranging from felony murder to terrorism, and police last month seized military-style assault rifles from so-called “boogaloo bois” in Denver. 

 

June 20:  Tulsa Police Arrest Rally Attendee Shiela Buck For Wearing 'I Can't Breathe' Shirt, by Aliza Worthington, Crooks and Liars

Sheila Buck had tickets for the rally tonight, and like thousands of others, had arrived hours ahead of time to get in. Unlike the other knuckle-draggers just dying to inhale those COVID-filled MAGA-hate respiratory droplets, Ms. Buck sat quietly on the ground wearing an "I Can't Breathe" shirt. She wasn't blocking anyone's pathway for walking or driving, nor was she armed or dangerous. Just sitting there crosslegged, masked, and minding her own business when a Trump employee approached, then police, all of whom told her she had to leave.

The back and forth lasted at least fifteen minutes, much of which was caught by news cameras, and ultimately ended in the police forcibly removing Ms. Buck and placing her under arrest and into a squad car, driving off with her just as soon as the door was closed.

ToProtectAndServePig001 900w1042h 

 

June 20:  'We came to riot': Illinois man livestreamed lighting fires, handing out explosives in Minneapolis, charges say, by Andy Mannix, Star Tribune

June 21:  How Trump rallygoers explain Black Lives Matter protests to their children, by Robert Klemko, The Washington Post

June 22:  Lori Lightfoot, mayor of Chicago, on who’s hurt by defunding police, by David Marchese, The New York Times

 

MiamiCopKneelOnNeckPregnantWomanTasedInStomach 2020 06 25 674w774h

June 25:  Another Badass "Bad Apple" moment typifying American Policework.

June 26:  Violence rises in Minneapolis, as debate over role of police rages, by Holly Bailey, The Washngton Post

Minneapolis officials have described an unprecedented burst of violence following George Floyd’s Memorial Day death, after an officer held him down with a knee to his neck, sparking worldwide fury and massive protests. At least 113 people have been shot since May 25, eight fatally, according to Minneapolis police, with hundreds of reports of gunfire across the city, including several shootings in broad daylight. 

June 27:  A Major GOP Nightmare Moves a Step Closer to Reality, by Eleanor Clift, Daily Beast

Legislation to make the District of Columbia a state is poised to pass the House on Friday, a major advance from the last time the measure came before Congress 27 years ago and 40 percent of Democrats joined with all but one Republican to defeat D.C. statehood.

 

After decades of benign neglect, the movement to make D.C. the 51st state has gained new life with Black Lives Matter and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s heightened profile. President Trump’s efforts to use federal force to dominate streets around the White House exposed the subservient status of a city that must answer to Congress for how it spends money while its 706,000 residents are without full voting representation in the House or Senate.

June 27:  Mississippi lawmakers pass resolution paving way to remove Confederate symbol from state flag, by Brittany Shammas, The Washington Post 

Rep. Edward Blackmon Jr. (D), who is black, said that he had overcome the feelings he had seeing the flag growing up but that it represents a painful history. He said his children and now his grandchildren have had questions about what it represents and called for a flag that would stir pride in all of the state’s residents — nearly 40 percent of whom are black.

 

“It ought to be something that we all feel a sense of pride that when we see it, we know that that’s about us,” he said. “Not just some of us.”

June 27:  Biden campaign staff is 35% people of color and 53% female, new diversity data shows, by Sean Sullivan, The Washington Post

The Republican and Democratic coalitions differ in their racial makeup. A majority (53 percent) of white, non-Hispanic voters identify with the Republican Party or lean Republican, according to data from the Pew Research Center. Four in 10 Democratic registered voters are now nonwhite, compared with just 17 percent of the GOP, the data shows.

June 28:  Princeton says it will remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school, by Lori Aratani, The Washington Post

The decision is a significant shift for the university, which just four years ago decided Wilson’s name would remain despite a student-led campaign to have it removed.  Wilson, a former Princeton president and the 28th president of the United States, permitted segregation in federal offices and opposed efforts by civil rights leaders to combat discrimination against African Americans.

June 28:  It’s Time to Defund Fox News, by Diane McWhorter, Daily Beast 

If business types really care about social justice, they’ll defund the country’s most prominent purveyor of anti-justice poison. And here’s an unlikely model for them to follow.

June 28:   ‘He Just Floored It’: Detroit Police SUV Plows Through Protesters, by Ethan Ketner

Police accelerated the vehicle multiple times as dozens of protesters surrounded it, according to videos of the incident posted to social media. After each acceleration, protesters could be heard shrieking in shock, pleading for the driver to stop hitting the gas while people were in front of the vehicle and being thrown from its hood.  “Detroit Police Department just ran straight through a bunch of our protesters,” Ethan Ketner, a protester who filmed the scene, wrote on Facebook. “Myself and 10-12 others were struck by this reckless driver who somehow has a badge.” "Detroit Police Department drove into 10-12 protesters including myself. Multiple people are going to the hospital. "

June 29:  Chief Harris County trial prosecutor resigns over post linking protesters and Nazis, by Gabrielle Banks and Samantha Ketterer, The Houston Chronicle

The head prosecutor for Harris County, Texas District Attorney Kim Ogg’s trial division resigned Monday after posting a meme on Facebook last week that equated protesters who remove Confederate statues with Nazis.

 

September 23:  A Cop Was Charged With Firing Into Breonna Taylor's White Neighbor's Apartment Bt Not for the Shots Fired into a Black Neighbor's apartment. No One Was Charged With Actually Killing Her, by Amber Jamieson, BuzzFeed

October 8:  Louisville Cops Left Breonna Taylor’s Body Unattended For Several Minutes Before Saying “She’s Done” by Tasneem Nashrulla, BuzzFeed

October 20:   The Dystopian Police State the Trump Administration Wants. Law enforcement’s problems could get even worse. by Phillip Atiba Goff, The New York Times

“One hopes that recommendations this hostile to privacy and police accountability would not find traction outside the confines of this toxic Commission,” Prof. Christy Lopez of Georgetown Law, a former Justice Department Civil Rights Division attorney who investigated police departments, told me. “But the fact that this administration would even put forward a set of recommendations so antithetical to democratic principles, all in an effort to maintain a policing status quo that the vast majority of Americans agree must be changed, is reprehensible.”

10/29/2020   Nearly 1,000 instances of police brutality recorded in US anti-racism protests, by Tobi Thomas , Adam Gabbatt and Caelainn Barr, The Guardian

At least 950 instances of police brutality against civilians and journalists during anti-racism protests have occurred in the past five months, according to data collected by Bellingcat and Forensic Architecture and analysed by the Guardian.

10/30/2020   Kentucky State Police Training Slideshow Quotes Hitler, Advocates ‘ruthless’ violence" by Satchel Walton and Cooper Walton, Manual Redeye

A training slideshow used by the Kentucky State Police (KSP) — the second largest police force in the state — urges cadets to be “ruthless killer[s]” and quotes Adolf Hitler advocating violence.

 

The slideshow was included in KSP documents obtained via an open records request by local attorney David Ward of Adams Landenwich Walton during the discovery phase of a lawsuit. Ward requested KSP materials used to train a detective who shot and killed a man in Harlan County, and Ward shared the presentation with Manual RedEye.

 

Although the presentation also features quotes from a variety of other sources including Sun Tzu and Albert Einstein, Dr. Jack Glaser —a professor at the University of California Berkeley who studies police practices — found the Hitler quotes inexcusable.

 

“Hitler is, justifiably, the archetype of a bad person with the worst, inhumane morals. It’s controversial enough to quote him when trying to illustrate a point about genocidal despots. Quoting him in the manner that these trainings do —prescriptively —is unfathomable,” Glaser wrote in an email to RedEye reporters. 

11/12/2020   Minneapolis violence surges as police officers leave department in droves, by Holly Bailey, The Washington Post

Nearly six months after George Floyd’s police killing here sparked massive protests and left a wide swath of the city burned and destroyed, Minneapolis is grappling with dueling crises: an unprecedented wave of violence and droves of officer departures that the Minneapolis Police Department warns could soon leave the force unable to respond to emergencies.

 11/19/2020    Teen in Wisconsin protest deaths used pandemic funds for gun, AP

“I got my $1,200 from the coronavirus Illinois unemployment because I was on furlough from YMCA,” he told the Post. “And I got my first unemployment check so I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll use this to buy it.’”

11/22/2020    Michigan man dies after struggling with officers, Associated Press

 LEE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — State police are investigating the death of a southwestern Michigan man who stopped breathing and died following a struggle with officers trying to take him into custody.

 

Police did not immediately describe the nature of that struggle or what measures the trooper and deputy used to try to subdue Strample, but said that at some point they noticed Strample wasn't breathing.

11/24/2020   Seattle's mayor is set to sign a new city budget cutting the police department's funding by 18%, By Andy Rose and Hollie Silverman, CNN

"I believe we are laying the groundwork to make systemic and lasting changes to policing," Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said. "We have rightly put forward a plan that seeks to ensure SPD has enough officers to meet 911 response and investigative needs throughout the city, while acknowledging and addressing the disproportionate impacts policing has had on communities of color, particularly Black communities."

 

To those dismayed because I've included the following three credible, coherent and well sourced backgrounders on "antifa," consider asking your parents or grandparents why America dedicated World War II to fighting fascism.

If you're simply jeaious, relax.  In "Hate: Made in Michigan," I'll include an entire page to links about American fascists and fascism.

Yeah, I know.  Those phrases look strange and more than a little sad in print.

Antifa: Some History, by Talia Lavin, 5/30/2020

"There is no acceptable amount of nazis in our discourse just as there is no acceptable amount of zyklon-b in your bedroom."

Culture Warlords: My Journey Into the Dark Web of White Supremacy, by Talia Lavin

Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, by Mark Bray, 2017

"Antifa aims to deny fascists the opportunity to promote their oppressive politics, and to protect tolerant communities from acts of violence promulgated by fascists. Critics say shutting down political adversaries is anti-democratic; antifa adherents argue that the horrors of fascism must never be allowed the slightest chance to triumph again."